People Can Be So Cruel

People can be cruel. Whatever happened to the “milk of human kindness”? I’m sure it still exists, but it seems to be getting increasingly rare.

Case in point. Recently, while patronizing a local supermarket, I saw a sight which deeply moved me. It was a mother and her young handicapped daughter who were also shopping. The girl of about five or six years old, had only stubs for arms. At first I pitied her. But after briefly observing the two, I felt the strong bond of love between them. I didn’t want to make them uncomfortable by staring, so I promptly turned away and continued my shopping.

I had almost put the incident out of mind as I turned into the next aisle. There I saw an unforgettable spectacle. Two adolecent girls laughing and mimicking the awkward movements of the afore mentioned handicapped girl. I was shocked and enraged.

What if the mother had witnessed that scene? She would have been devastated. Fortunately she didn’t…that time. More people should have the philosophy, “There, but for the grace of God, goes I.”

Along the same line of thought, I also know an oriental lady who has lived and worked in my community for several years. She is of a very diminuitive stature and has trouble speaking English. This woman treats everyone with respect and dignity and hasn’t a hateful bone in her entire body.

However, life here hasn’t been a two-way street. In stores children gawk and whisper, “Mommy! Look at that woman.” The parents look and smile instead of admonishing their children.

At her place of employment it’s the same story. Co-workers make fun of her size and speech. Although it’s not usually done in front of her, she hears isolated snide comments and sees their amused expressions. She’s knows what’s going on, and it hurts.

When she returns home at night she’ll cry and ask, “What’s wrong with me?” Her husband, who loves her for who she is and not what she looks like, feels helpless to comfort her.

People like this woman, who are sensitive and caring to others are rapidly becoming an endangered species in our “civilized society”. We should treasure them as a fine example of “The Golden Rule”.

I have no delusions this little article will remedy “Man’s inhumanity to man.” But if it causes even one person to think before they speak or act and hurt someone… then it was worth the effort to write.


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