On episode 63 I shared an experience of a chance encounter with a young lady in Family Dollar.
I was minding my business shopping from my list and out of nowhere, I heard the sound of a cart being shaken, and then I heard the most awful words, “didn’t I tell you to shut the F%$^ up.” I stopped in my tracks. There in front of me was a young lady with her son. He could not have been more than three or four years old. I didn’t have to say a thing because I know the look of disgust was all over my face. In that split second I had so many thoughts. Should I say something? Should I stay in my lane? Do I ignore what I considered to be verbal abuse (that’s the helping professional in me)? After what seemed like an eternity, I decided to approach the young lady (we will call her C for the purpose of this companion piece) and say something. I took a few steps towards her and said “Hey, I’m not trying to get in your business, but don’t talk to your son like that.” I thought my approach was warm and non-threatening, but I must admit I was prepared for and expecting the worse reaction.
I was pleasantly surprised by “C’s” response. She stared at me for a moment and then said “You are right.” That was the beginning of a BEAUTIFUL conversation. We exchanged names and she started to tell me her story. She then began to cry. I stood there for a moment then I put my arm around her shoulder and told her everything was going to be okay. We talked for almost an hour. At that moment I knew the universe put me in that store and in that spot for a reason. As I listened, I could tell she just needed an ear and a shoulder, just someone in that moment to care. She didn’t ask for anything, nor did she play the woe is me card. She just shared her truth. I thanked her for allowing me in. Trusting a stranger showed a great deal of vulnerability on her part.
I’m glad I chose to say something to a stranger. I followed my heart instead of my mind. I’m glad I didn’t look the other way and judge from afar. I don’t know why our paths crossed, but I’m glad they did. I may never see or hear from her again, but in that moment I know I made a difference.
Sometimes it’s okay to get out of your lane!!!!!
Listen to the entire conversation below!