Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Island Survival Story

I thought about writing this post for awhile. Why you ask?

Because nowadays it seems like just about EVERYTHING can be spun around to be about race, gender, sexual preference and I didn't want to stir the already boiling pot. But...I decided to post it...
Recently I went through my first tropical weather event here on the island. Now, I've lived in this region most of my life but just recently moved to the actual coast.

I watched as those four children moved through the masses, a smirk appearing on my face as they moved towards those precious cases of water. I thought to myself--this is a riot in the making. I knew what was about to go down.

But here's the thing I, nor perhaps anyone saw coming. 

See, if you've never lifted a case of 24 bottles of water, they're rather heavy. Try lifting four--yeah, that's a feat. But as I stood there watching this all play out, those boys were grabbing four cases--two to a team--and putting them in OTHER people's carts. They were incredibly polite and they didn't do it for just one or two, they did it for everyone that was there--or at least they offered to.

Then when the poor, overworked Walmart employee pulled a pallet of the last water to be had in the store, those boys then went on to help him upload those and continue to assist customers with loading that water in carts. The water was distributed fairly quickly and the aisle started to clear.

Some people said thank you. Some people declined help politely and some seemed almost insulted or disgusted that their buggy was touched and they approached.

But not once did these young people not smile and be polite. They just moved on and helped someone that didn't mind the assistance. I shook my head in amazement at the giving nature of some and the ignorance of others in the midst of it.

As I walked with my buggy full of one case and supplies in the still bright sunlit day, I glanced over to see that the mother and her children were now outside waiting on the sidewalk in front of the store. All four kids looked like they had ran a marathon and the mother was busy looking for change to buy them a generic soda in the machine. I stopped and happily offered the few actual dollars I had since the machine didn't take debit/credit. She shyly thanked me and I couldn't help but notice she had gotten the bare necessities in her buggy and she still held the receipt and food stamp card in her hand as she dug for that change. Each boy thanked me and were happy to get those cold sodas after working so hard.

Walking away, I glanced back once more to see the family was waiting for the public bus that serviced the island. The boys helped the mother bring her groceries up into the bus and then the doors closed and the bus drove away.

Now...this is a simple story. And not that incredible in today's society where people are pulling people out from in front of trains or finding the lost. But to me, it spoke volumes in the one fact that seems to be lost to so many.

There's no need, as some tellers of the tale might do, to say the race of the family. There's no need to describe the age, gender of those that accepted the help and those that treated it like it was something malicious.

No, because in the end, the one word I will use to describe the demographic of all those involved in the Island survival story is this...


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