This is an actual story told by a mother who attended college later than most.
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.
The last class I had to take was Sociology.
The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called “Smile.”
The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp March morning.
It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.
We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.
I did not move an inch… an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible “dirty body” smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.
As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was “smiling”.
He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his friend.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, “Coffee is all Miss,” because that was all they could afford (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).
That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.
I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.
I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman’s cold hand.
He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Thank you.”
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.
I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it.
Then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?”
I slowly nodded and she read it to the class.
I realized the story had touched the people at McDonald’s, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.
Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to “LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS – NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.”
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