A beautiful sunny warm Saturday afternoon. Nearly perfect really. The only thing that would have improved the day at all is if I was in my own yard instead of out running the few errands that this day required. Everyone is smiling and happy, this weather has been well earned after a long Midwest winter.
I pull into a crowded parking lot with other smiling happy white legged Midwesterners doing their Saturday shopping. It's spring in the Hoosier Heartland. I stop behind another vehicle that I think is letting a lady and her granddaughter cross the street. The lady leans down and puts her arms around her little girl smiling and then waves the truck in front of me to go on. I assume she's waiting on her husband to pull the Oldsmobile around to pick them both up. I smile thinking how sweet that grandma and her granddaughter are out buying some new spring gear and probably going out for a nice lunch. I creep past them as the truck in front of me starts to move forward.
Then I realize the truck in front of me has been sitting over the top of one of those Stop signs that are painted on the pavement. Just as I realize this I hear from behind me, "Nice stop, lady!" In the bullying voice of a Midwestern grandma. What! I look in my rear view mirror to see sweet little grandma with her arms still wrapped around the young girl as she's giving me a piece of her mind!
My first thought is to pull around and pull next to her and get out of my truck to say, "I'm so sorry. I honestly didn't see that stop sign. Are you two okay?" and then I would lean down and give this young impressionable child a genuine smile of concern. Someone has got to model better behavior for this child! I try to get turned around and traffic won't permit it and I've lost the site of them both.
So there you have it.
The reason we have bullies in our schools is because we have bullies in our homes, in our grandparent's homes and in the parking lot of our favorite stores. I should have been a detective.
Look people, if you want to know what's wrong with the world, look inside your own heart first. You may not have to join a task force or go on a mission trip, you may just have to be kinder, gentler and more patient and then pass it on to your kids and your grandkids. That's a start.