I was walking down an aisle in the grocery store recently and witnessed a group of young women walking and talking together as they slowly strolled along. An aisle or two away, an elderly man and his visually impaired wife turned the corner and came into the path of the ladies. As the man, pushed his cart and guided his wife he slowly approached the group. They kept walking and talking towards the couple not giving an inch of space.
For a moment it looked like a game of “Chicken” and I was appalled to see the elderly couple veer around the group of women, as the ladies just kept on walking and talking.
Was it intentional? Did the three young ladies purposely stand their ground and not give way to an elderly couple?
Were they unaware? Was the conversation they were having so totally engrossing that they didn’t even realize they were on a collision course with the couple and their cart?
Could it have been ignorance on their part? Maybe no one ever taught them to respect their elders, or to be courteous to others?
No matter the excuse, in my personal opinion, the three should have moved around the man and his wife. It’s like
• holding the door for someone
• picking up something that has been dropped when the other person has their hands full
• offering to help someone carry their bags, when they obviously have too many to handle
It’s the right thing to do. It’s the kind thing to do.
How can we be sure that our children are aware of the various ways to show kindness to others? The answer is simple. We lead by example. We teach our children to be aware of their surroundings, so they can see a need/meet a need. And then, we walk the talk.
When children are young, they are very impressionable. They will copy what their parents do. Be aware. Little eyes are watching, and little ears are listening. Of course, once they become teenagers, many children choose to try not to be anything like their parents. But, what they’ve learned early in life sticks with them.
Be a great example for your children to emulate. Behave as you would like them to behave. Show them the path to follow. Kindness matters.
*Pam Horton is a certified Parenting Coach in the Raleigh area.