the human factor

My mom and I went shopping about 2 weekends ago, and as we were meandering through the people, browsing shop windows, a young girl brushed past us, her head down, her eyes red rimmed and her face blotchy. She was crying.

My mom and I stopped in our tracks and just looked at each other. We watched as this young lady who must have been close to my age silently walked past the oblivious people around her, and we didn’t know what to do. We umm’d and aah’d about whether or not to go after her, and when she was about 20m or so ahead of us we decided to catch up with her. Upset people walk very fast, and I speak from experience. We managed to catch up to her as she had gotten onto the upwards escalator, and my mom just managed to ask her if she was ok, to which she replied very softly “yes”, looked straight up and continued up the escalator. My mom and I just stood there, dumbstruck. How did no one else see this woman so upset? And if someone else did, why did no one stop to find out if she was ok.

Look, I know that there’s probably not much that we could have done and that she could have been crying for any number of silly reasons; credit card declined, fight with a friend / boyfriend, her shoe broke etc, but what if she wasn’t? What if she had just received the worst news imaginable, what if something awful (God forbid) had happened to her. The emotional turmoil and inner fight that was going on between my mom and I was insane!

To that young lady who was so upset, and seemed so alone; we noticed you. We cared, and we still do care.

I hope that whatever upset you on that morning, is a distant memory.

G

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