22 November, 2014
Where Has Civility Gone?
Today I was getting ready to go into a store, when as I was approaching the door, there was a woman and her daughter who was pretty severely handicapped, (I know that is not the PC word, but believe me, in this case, it is appropriate) also approaching the door. The daughter was mentally challenged but also had severe physical limitations which caused her movements to be very forced and deliberate in order to just be mobile, and this caused her to be very slow moving. The mother told 3 other people to go on ahead of them which they did. She then turned and told me to go on and explained that it was going to take awhile. I told her no, that where I came from, ladies always went first. She smiled and said, "It's OK, we are used to being last." I said, "Not today. Ladies first." Not only did the mother appreciate it, but her daughter was thrilled and was so excited. I held the door for them, and yes, it took probably close to a minute for her to get inside, and the mom again apologized for the delay and tried to hurry her daughter up. I told her that I was not in that big of a hurry that I could not give up one minute to treat them with the respect they deserved. The woman touched me on the hand softly and said thank you, that she had not been made to feel like a lady in so long that she had forgotten what it was like. She told me that people usually got very upset because her daughter was so slow moving and that she often did not take her out because she did not want the looks of disgust that were shot at her. She thanked me again and said, "God bless you." I told her that God had indeed blessed me abundantly and it was my honor to be of some small service to them. As I went about my shopping I saw that by the time I'd gone in and picked up the 3 things I needed, the two of them were just getting to the first aisle. I thought about the patience of this loving mother and I whispered and asked God to bless that mom who has sacrificed to raise this daughter at home rather than stick her in an institution. Her love was so obvious and amazing. As I drove away I could not help but think about them and how heartbreaking it is that they had become accustomed to being delegated to last because people are in too much of a hurry to stop and show a little respect. God help us as a society.