I truly believe empathy is the key to everything. People think they have it but they are often so, so wrong. For example, this one woman I overheard today at Starbucks. I was with my daughter and because there were no seats I ended up sharing a table with three women. One woman was monopolizing much of the conversation and I overheard her talking about these annoying friends of her daughters who overstayed their welcome and would eat her food. I don’t know the whole back story about these kids or their parents but what got me was her reaction to the kids. She complained about having to give them snacks and how now she has to buy a bag of “crappy apples” because she didn’t want them to eat her expensive honey crisps. Then she went on to say that sometimes she would prepare lunch for her girls and in a effort to “shoo the kids away” and how she was pissed if they would ask to stay. The woman then said, “I guess I felt bad or something, so I would make them a peanut butter sandwich but there was no way I would give them my expensive lunch meat. I am going to start buying a thing of Jiff for just when they come over.”
I was horrified. This woman in her lulu lemons, drinking her expensive Starbucks latte was complaining about feeding children?! Then she went on to say that she wants to teach a kindness class in her daughters class. HUH?! Maybe TAKE a kindness class first. Jeez.
To be honest this struck a cord because I was that neighborhood kid. I relied on my neighbors to help me because my parents (who worked hard and are wonderful) sometimes couldn’t. It breaks my heart to think people would see me in this light; an annoyance who didn’t deserve the good peanut butter.
So to the good people of the world who help the wayward neighborhood kids; Thank You. Your love and kindness means the world. Truly. I am so proud and so lucky to have grown up in a community that cared and I promise that if there is ever a time a kid needs a meal or some extra love and attention; I’ll be there and not with the ‘crappy apples’.