I love being a person and I think people in general are pretty nice. I only start to get annoyed when they begin arguing with each other for no reason, or stealing without any regard for anyone else themselves. This is one of the reasons why I like to surround myself with children. They have the ability to make my problems with the human race disappear. When I’m with kids, I feel like there’s still hope for the world. This is why I believe that children are magical, and can change a person’s mood without even trying. Sometimes, they even have to ability to change a person’s life.
I was able to witness one such act on a blustery November day. I was standing in a New York City subway station with my family, waiting for our train. A little ways down from me was a small, frail homeless man. He was staring at anyone who walked by, pleading for a dollar, a quarter, anything. I don’t remember how many men and women passed, but what I do remember is that all of them went by without a single glance, not one fault in their step showing that they even acknowledged the man’s existence.
After a while, a mother came by with her daughter, who couldn’t have been more than seven years old. As they went past the homeless man, the girl pulled on her mother’s coat sleeve, and looked back at the man, who had unsuccessfully attempted to catch the mother’s eyes. She looked from him back to her mother and back again, asking, “Can we help him?” Her mother leaned towards her. I couldn’t hear what she said, but she was obviously reprimanding the girl for her ideas. She straightened up, and began forward once again, but the young girl broke free from her mother’s grasp. She ran back to the man, and pulled a five dollar bill from her coat pocket. Smiling, the girl dropped the crisp bill from her hand into his lap. She trotted back to her speechless mother, who took her hand and walked away without a single word, tears in her eyes. I looked back to see the man holding the money, and staring after the young girl with the biggest smile I had ever seen on his pock-marked face.
This whole scene took place within a few minutes, but it had stuck in my memory ever since. With a single, selfless act, this one young daughter gave a man with nothing the ultimate gift: kindness. In the world today, it is nearly impossible to find a person living in the city who has ever cared for a homeless person as much as this girl did. Maybe everyone can learn a lesson from children. If we are able to treat each other with the same love that they do, maybe we too, can learn the magic of the world’s children.