Act #247: Judge not.
How To Be A Jerk
About a month ago I was at Target browsing through the clearance rack in the women's clothing section when I began hearing the screeching demands of a little boy. NOOOOO! I WANT THAT BOOK NOW! This was followed by the gentle, firm plea of a woman's voice, Matt, we are going home now and you can not have another book. My eyes naturally searched my surroundings for the mother-son duo and found them just a few racks over. The boy looked to be about 8 years old and by then, was erupting into a full-blown temper tantrum, screaming at the top of his lungs. I was sure the entire store could hear him. I'M NOT LEAVING UNTIL YOU BUY ME THAT BOOK! He was crying, screaming, and kicking, while his exasperated mother was gently trying to coax him towards the exit doors. A few other women gathered next to me and we began chatting, well really, judging: the boy for being old enough to not behave like a spoiled brat, the mother for her lack of control and questionable parenting skills. I couldn't take my eyes of them, eager to see how this was all going to play out. The boy wouldn't budge. Soon two store associates came to offer the mother help. But it was too late. The boy was uncontrollable, wildly swinging his arms, violently kicking everyone that came near him, screaming incomprehensible things, clearly in some sort of rage. And I just stood there, pretending to look at tank tops, watching them from the corner of my eyes, ruthlessly judging both of them silently.
How to Be Human
This past weekend Ashley England and her family: husband, Jason, 8-year old son, Riley, 4-year old brother Logan, and the boys' grandmother and great-grandmother were eating dinner at a North Carolina restaurant. They were waiting for their meals when their special needs son, Riley became frustrated that he couldn't load Netflix on his mom's phone. Riley, who suffers from epilepsy and is non-verbal, began making screaming noises and beating on the table. People began to stare, and England, who was somewhat prepared for the scenario since Riley was diagnosed as a special needs child since he was a toddler, was having a bad week and was visibly frustrated. And that's when a waitress walked up to the family with tears in her eyes. She passed along a note from an anonymous customer that read “God only gives special children to special people.” Their meal had been paid for in full. England broke down in tears and later told news reporters that the gesture couldn't have come at a better time because the past month had been particularly difficult with Riley. She later posted this status on her Facebook page, "Dear stranger, thank you for giving me a blessing tonight in a way you will never know.”