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Adult taught a valuable lesson at grocery store

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To the man at Safeway, I saw you in the bakery with a little boy on Monday. He knocked over a super-size package of snickerdoodles, which burst open when it hit the floor. Cookies scattered everywhere. The noise drew my attention. I saw on your face the same guilty, embarrassed sheepishness I have felt before. But what you chose to do with the mistake makes your choice remarkable. It would have been easier to grab that careless boy?s arm and tug him away from the scene of humiliation, pretend you didn?t do it and leave it for someone else. It would have been easier to snap at him for embarrassing you. There were easier paths. But you owned it. In that moment, you were making a choice; it was a choice to train that boy to admit his own mistakes. One day, after another like fiasco, you might walk with him to the counter so he can apologize for his carelessness, helping him to own up himself. But he needs an example. And today, you were teaching him what a man does. It could be seen as a tiny thing, insignificant in the scope of life. But to me, it was great. You did something courageous, something that our culture is falling away from: honor. And in that package-bursting moment, you stepped up to teach your boy that a man admits his mistakes, even when he?s embarrassed, even when he is ashamed. I wanted to tell you right then but I also know what it is like being overwhelmed with cookie crumbs in one direction, a squirrelly kid in another, and the feeling of a hundred eyes upon you. But I should have said something anyway. Often, it is the perfect strangers? encouragement that stays with us for years and years. I don?t know your name, Safeway shopper, and I don?t even know if that boy was your son, your brother or a buddy. But you did a good job. Thank you for training your boy honorably. Brenda Hilton, Lincoln