My colleague Sister Toldjah wrote a sweet story last month about a four year old enjoying the parade at Walt Disney World. As the Disney Princesses passed by, the little boy tipped his hat to each one, and his delighted mother caught it on video and shared it with the world. It was a beautiful reminder that chivalry is indeed alive and well, and shows up in the most unexpected of ways.
I am thankful there are still parents and grandparents who choose to teach their children the importance of manners and etiquette. It is not only a reflection of the person you are, but of the community you come from, and ultimately of the society in which you exist.
As the British idiom states, “manners maketh man.”
So, this story about four young men helping an elderly woman get home after her scooter broke down in the middle of a rainstorm, is on the mark.
From Fox News:
Lending a helping hand will always be appreciated.
Four young men learned that firsthand after they received praise for escorting a retirement home resident back to her residence when her scooter broke down in the middle of a storm.
Katty Castro, a public relations representative at the Florida Living Independent Community in Seminole County, Florida, witnessed the kind act and snapped pictures of the group who valiantly pushed the resident’s scooter to her planned destination.
“Since this is a very quiet neighborhood I was surprised to hear a commotion, laughs and four gentlemen pushing one of my lady residents under a heavy storm in Florida,” Castro told Fox News. “They were pushing her up the big slope toward her residence. These heroes were so focused on helping regardless of the inclement weather and they were even covering her with an umbrella, which showed more compassion on their part.”
Castro said she went on to thank the men “for their kindness and asked them for a group picture” when they were done with their task and shared the moment with her community on Nextdoor – a hyperlocal social networking app where people can share what’s going on in their neighborhood.
Initially, Castro thought the helpful team of four were local teens from the high school next door, but she later learned the men were employees of Rebounderz Adventure Parks.
What are the odds that a PR rep for the assisted living community would spot this? It’s not only great publicity for the senior center and the adventure park, but the fact that she immediately thought to market this kind act to the community is only something a public relations person would know to do.
The men were passing through the area after a hard day’s work, but noticed the woman just when they were about to turn onto an eight-lane highway.
“[We] noticed the woman was clearly experiencing a malfunction with her mobile scooter,” said John Morgan Massa, a corporate general manager at Rebounderz Adventure Parks, in an interview with Fox News.
“We were tired, dirty and wanted to get back to the hotel; but, knew without a doubt that regardless of our long day, it certainly wasn’t worse than the day this lady was having. She literally had a plastic bag on her head to keep her hair dry,” he added. “We knew we couldn’t leave her in the rain, in the middle of the road, frantically trying to get her scooter to work again.”
Another reflection of chivalry: considering someone else’s situation above your own. These guys could have just looked at the old lady, thought, sucks to be you, and went on to their hotel to get a warm shower and a hot meal. Instead, they chose to step in and offer help.
Massa and his colleagues reportedly made a three-quarter-mile trek as they carefully pushed the resident while she remained on her scooter, according to Castro.
Massa said helping the resident was a no-brainer.
“We just wanted her to get home safely,” he explained. “We never expected recognition, just helping a fellow member of our community.”
I despise the modern idiom about “random acts of kindness,” because kindness is not random: we learn it from the age of that four year-old, and as it is encouraged and reinforced, it manifests into the kindness of a John Morgan Massa and his colleagues. Just like that sweet little boy at Disney World, Massa was no doubt raised with, and encouraged, to be chivalrous, and help those who cannot help themselves.
Nothing random about that. I definitely encourage parents and grandparents to keep massaging this into your children by word, and by example. Chivalry is a custom that is taught, as well as caught.