I Just Couldn't Walk By

I was still in a very fragile state of depression when this happened, but it still makes me sad to think about it. I had just driven my youngest son to his hockey game and since we had to be there an hour before  his game started, I decided that I had enough time to go browse at the magazine store nearby. On my way back I saw an older gentleman who had slipped and fallen into a large puddle of water. His granddaughter who looked to be about seven or eight was with him and crying ''get up grandpa, please try to get up''. She was pulling on his arm and he was also crying that he couldn't and telling her to leave him and go home. This made her cry even harder. The poor man had fallen right in front of a parking lot exit and as I approached I saw a teenager in a small pickup truck trying to leave the parking lot.

Instead of getting out to help the man in distress he started yelling at him ''get up gramps, you're blocking the road'' and honking his horn. This only served to fluster the grandfather and his granddaughter even more.  When I finally reached them I helped the old man up and made sure there was nothing physically wrong with him. While I was doing this the teenager asked me if I needed help. I told him, not too politely, that he had done enough. I also told him that one day he might be in the old man's position and that I hoped he receive more help than what he had given this man.

Once he was up, I could see that he was soaking wet. I asked him if I could call someone to come and get him, but he said no, he lived nearby. I walked him home and had him lean on me the whole way and I made sure that he got safely into his house. He thank me warmly and so did his little granddaughter, but I could see how humiliated he felt.

When I made it back to the arena the hockey game was well underway. Then the callousness of that teenager's actions hit me and I started to cry. I cried for that old gentleman who I'm sure was feeling so powerless, I cried for the little girl who was clearly very worried and scared. I cried for that teenager who, at such a young age, already had a hardened heart.

Thank goodness that the other parents at the arena saw my distress and gathered around me to console me.

I have never liked jokes about old people because they promote the lack of respect our society has for them. Our seniors should be valued for what they have contributed.

jojewel jojewel
56-60, F
40 Responses Feb 7, 2010

You know hun, as for me I would have only shouted back at the git of a teenager.

I know how u feel couse im the same way.I'd rather help my elders than the young.cousr if it wasn't for them .we wouldn't be were we r today.

what a sad story, i have almost got a lump in my throat from reading it................ well you deserved the biggest pat on the back for what you did, fabulous person you are, you will get your reward one day, you should be well proud of how you helped and dealt with the situation. you are a credit to the world. <br />
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God bless you for being there just then.

JJ, you often perform acts of random kindness here on EP! I love getting a special gesture from you, or some other rtecognition from you, here on EP! Whenever I do, it brightens my day - but when I am depressed (as at present) it is a gift beyond price. Thank you dear friend - you truly ARE a jewel!!

Thank you, Nightangel! I'm Catholic, but whatever religion you happen to be, basic human decency should be part of everyone's morals and values.

jojewel,<br />
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Your story touched me. You didn't say if you were a Christian or not, but it was a Christ like thing that you did; the Bible says that if you give a cup of cold water in His name you shall in no wise lose your reward. I try to live by the motto, "If I can help someone along the way, then my living will not be in vain."<br />
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I am at my happiest when serving others. God bless you for your compassionate act.<br />
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Thank you KylieGirl! My hat is off for your mom! She has a very demanding job but it must also be very rewarding. I hope that I at least made an impact on that teen.

So do I, Squigglefish!

Thank you for your kind comment, Hannah! I do hope that the memory of that day was changed for this grandfather and his little grand daughter.

Hey JJ your act of kindness and graciousness, just made a huge difference to what would have otherwise been a very demeaning experience to that elderly gentlemen. It was a huge study in contrast between human compassion and the opposite, human cruelty. It just goes to show that while there are callous monsters of human beings in this world there are also people out there willing to lend a helping hand for someone to get back on their feet. If there are people like you around JJ. There's still hope for this world yet!!!

Thats true.It just angered Me at first reading of this story.I understand that there are many many young people raised without love and compassion in their lives.Not being showed any to them in their life can make one insensitive and numb to the feelings of others.Sorry I sounded harsh.It just flew all over Me that someone could just honk and yell like that,instead of helping the elderly man.God bless.

Thank you, Kwoody, I also hope he did! Have a nice day too!!<br />
God bless you too, HeartOnnaLiveWire. Maybe the young man had no one from whom he could learn respect. I think that this is learned as much by example as by discipline.<br />
Thank you for your kind words, Polysexminoh! It is an excellent point that you make, I had never thought of it that way before. I am doing very well now and have been off all meds relating to depression for the last three years.

Thank you for being one of the kind souls in this world. I do see some correlation between those who battle depression and their capacity to love and help others around them. Your courage in battling your depression and for just being the kind of friend and person we all wish we had can never be praised enough. Keep up the good fight and may you get ahead of your depression for ever.

It is awful how young people are today.No respect.now im not saying all young people,there are some very respectful young men and women.but the majority has been brought up in a generation,where when made to respect,the state and law call it abuse.It is a crying shame(literally) that that young man was so callouse that he had no compassion for the old man's welfare.God bless him,is all I can say about him.And God bless you hon for having enough sympathy and love for this man to help.God bless! Love Shiloh.AKA HeartOnnaLiveWire. (:

Thank you, anneluv. I don't think that this is entirely their fault. The media is geared towards youth and if an older person is shown it is usually in an unflattering light. This does not promote respect for our seniors.

God is really going to bless u for what u did.Just as i was readin thru ur story,i also felt like bursting into tears.You know,there are some teenagers who think they will never grow to be old n tend to mistreat the aged anyhow but they shd bare in mind that whatever u sow u shall surely reap.

Thank you for your comment, Escher. I do hope that the teenager learned something that day. I don't remember being too harsh with him because of the little girl being there. I didn't want to upset her further by getting into a yelling match with him.<br />
AT, the teen never got out of the truck. This was a cold day and it had been raining off and on all day.<br />
I'm glad that you got the job and that she didn't let that incident affect her judgment. <br />
Lattelove, I too am amazed at the number of comments! This was certainly not heroic by any means and I probably would have forgotten it had it not been for that teenager's behaviour. The grandfather may have been able to get himself up if he hadn't been so flustered by the teen's incessant insults and honking. I'm just glad that I was able to help.

Wow, the number of comments on this post is incredible. I think that simply the fact that people felt compeled enough to read your story and then respond to it when they may not even know you is a testimate to the fact that not all hope is lost in humanity. Not that this is by any means an original statement compared to what others have been saying, but I think that not only was is great what you did but I think it is going to be one of those things that stick with you, reminding you how the world should really be. Not to say that it wasn't a disheartening situation, but like others have been saying I think it may have been a blessing in disguise for everyone involved. Sometimes it takes situations like that for us to step outside our routines and daily lives and remind ourselves what life is really about: people. Like someone else said, the world would be a better place if more people like you showed others what life is really about.

JJ - about that teenager. When we drive, we are locked in a cage of steel and glass. We cannot communicate with each other, except with rude gestures. We have no verbal skills to use between drivers, we have no body language. All we can do is give crude gestures, like some neanderthal brutes. This is why road rage is so common. And this is why the teenager behaved differently as soon as he got out of the car.<br />
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On the lighter side, I had a different experience, where a person ended up dripping wet. I was being rehired by my former company. No formal interview, but I still went with my would-be manager for a coffee. She was a petite woman, extremely intelligent. She dressed well, with great taste and distinction. I knew her before, in fact I interviewed her many years earlier when the company first hired her. We were chatting away, when a clumsy waiter spilled two cups of coffee in her laps. Now remember, I was actually unemployed at that time, and this was still a job interview. I wished the waiter to hell. If the lady got really nervous, my employment prospects were not that good. I offered to call a cab, take her home to change and then come back. But she soldiered on all day in that elegant, coffee-stained, wet dress. And I got the job.

Thank you, Aloemann01. Yes, I believe that there are many, many good people out there, and maybe that teen is one of them. He just didn't know it yet.

Thank you for your comment, Farfrom!<br />
Thank you, justMylove. I don't know about having a big heart, but I do try to follow the Golden Rule and treat others how I would like to be treated.<br />
Sugarfooties, I do hope that the teenager took something away from this incident. I hope that if he ever encountered someone else in need of help that he chose to help instead of hinder. God bless you too!<br />
Thank you Rosie524, for your kind words. It sure did open the fountain of my tears. It also showed me that there are many caring people in this world. The other parents at the arena were all very concerned about me. They touched me greatly with their kindness.

This experience was not just the helping of the two people in distress it was mainly to open the fountain of your tears to release the depression that had been there for a time longer than it should have. The location may have not been one that you would have chosen to release all that energy but it had to be done at that instance. I'm sure your kindness will never be forgotten. I pray that it was also a beginning or turn in your life.

Thank you and bless you for you act of kindness to all three of these people. Not only did you go way out of your way to help the elderly man and the young girl, but perhaps you also were the model the teenager never had in his family life. I'm sure you gave the other parents something to think about, and perhaps your act will change the directions of some of those families also.<br />
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God bless you for being such a caring person.

that was a very kind thing to do. u must hav a big heart ^__^

Thank you for being the person you are.

Thank you Karumbey, I hadn't thought of that. I had asked him if I could call someone and he refused. He probably didn't want to bother anyone else.

Your story has touched my heart! I too feel your sadness at the growing apathy around us, I see it way too often and its difficult to cope with, but it is people like you that give me hope. I think it was not only marvelous that you stepped in to help him out of the puddle, but you also gave him the gift of some retained dignity. Someone else may have insisted on an ambulance or driving him home, but you helped him walk away on his own two legs.

Thank you for your kind comment, NobodySpecial! I think that the grandfather was trying to keep her from being further upset. The teenager's honking and yelling was really unnerving her.

Thank you, Sappy, I love you too!!!!<br />
Thank you, Destry, I hope that it did at least show that teenager.<br />
Thank you,Dasappa, that is very kind of you!

This shows your humanism and your kindness to someone who is in trouble and you also crying shows your kindness I like your attitude very much..........................

Jo .... and this is why we all love you so. : )

So do you, LadyA, so do you!!!

Blackdress, my cheeks are bright red now! :)<br />
MymanRuss, I believe that most people are kind and helpful. It's just that we seldom hear about it in the media except when it concerns acts of extraordinary heroism.

Fantastic. Your kindness/act of wasn't random; the incident was. Your kindness and concern are there ALL the timej , not randomly. You sound like you have a wonderful giving soul, and huge heart. We need more like yourself.

JJ, you are truly a jewel! Everything @gryfnn said - well, just DITTO! You rock girlfriend. ((HUGS))

Oh yes, Frito, she was scared. I could hear it in her voice. And I'm sure that that dreadful honking didn't help.<br />
Thank you for your kind comment, Ruptura, but I just did what had to be done. I am glad now that I was able to help.<br />
I hope he did learn a lesson Gryfnn. He was way too young to be so callous. And you've also made me blush!!

What good fortune---you were privileged to be the angel for those two.......The teenager was also blessed---he learned a lesson--early ---it may change his whole life----you are blessed with grace.

You were there at that moment for a reason, the gentleman and the little girl were completely blessed that you were nearby that day. Don't be sad many people see bad things happening and don't have the chops to lend a hand of get involved, you should only feel proud of what you did.

It must have been terrifying for the little girl and so difficult for her grandfather...I'm so glad you arrived and helped them...all it takes sometimes is one person in the right place and time to avert a worse tragedy! :)