Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Milk of Human Kindness

Here's a feel-good story that warmed my heart:
“I didn’t expect the kindness of strangers,” Audrey Mark, who took the photo, told ABC News. “You don’t expect humanity on aisle 11 of a big-box store.”

The quiet 15-year-old in the black suit was looking for a clip-on tie for his first job interview, but Target only sells regular ties. That’s when Dennis Roberts, Cyndi Moore and Cathy Scott came to his rescue.

“When Dennis was tying the tie, we took the time, ‘Look presentable, tie your shoe laces, tuck your shirt in,’ we were giving him pointers,” Cyndi explained of their interaction. “He was just soaking everything in, taking it all in."

This is more than just good customer service. Yasir Moore learned how to shake hands and look his interviewer in the eye.

"They could have just sold my son a tie," Moore's mother, Najirah Parrish, told ABC News station WTVD-TV in Durham, North Carolina. "But they took the time, helped him tie the tie and talked to him. They treated my son with dignity, respect."  (Good Morning America)
Yasir Moore is a black teen, and probably has no father around.  He was shopping for a tie he needed for a job interview, and three white store employees helped him out and coached him to success.  You can watch the short video segment at Good Morning America.  It will make you feel good.

As I always do, I perused the comment thread, bracing for the haters to throw cold water on it all, but I was pleasantly surprised.  No racist invective or ignorant comments about his mother wearing a hijab; just happy, positive comments.

I think we are hungry for news like this.  But, is it really news?  That was the debate in the thread.  Unless you live in a cold, hateful place, you probably see and participate in such life events all the time.  Neighbor helping neighbor, stepping in to help someone you don't know.  Being helped by others when something goes wrong.  At least that was the view of many.  Further afield, what about Lassana Bathily, the Muslim man who saved the lives of Jewish shoppers when Islamic extremists attacked the Jewish deli in France?

So, is such kindness the norm here in America? Or have we become a nation of Lady MacBeths, contemptuous of those "too full o' th' milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way?"

Has popular entertainment/news media skewed our view of ourselves and others?

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