One of the toughest things teenagers have to do is be able to think for themselves and not worry about what their friends have to say. Not an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, too many teenagers, when put in a box to make a choice, are more concerned about their “image than they are about making the right choice. The following true story is about one boy who wasn’t.
Here’s what happened…
A city bus pulls up to a bus stop. Three teenagers get on and sit towards the back of the bus. Winter time, 20 degrees, snow on the ground. The bus pulls away and shortly after makes another stop. A homeless lady gets on. She reaches down into her torn apron, pulls out some change to pay and then sits towards the back of the bus where the 3 teenagers are.
Two of the three teenager start making fun of the fact that the lady had no shoes on. She had rags wrapped around her feet to keep them warm. Hey lady, one boy said, where’d you get those shoes, J.C.Dumpster?” Both boys laughed.
Here lady, you need these more than I do.” His friends went crazy. “Man are you nuts?” one shouted. “they cost you $85. Why you giving them to that old lady?”
The boy said nothing. The bus stopped, the boy glanced over at his friends, then got off the bus in his stocking feet, in the snow, in the 20 degree weather and walked 8 city blocks to his apartment. His feet must have froze. Do you think the boy in this story cared about his image or his reputation?” I doubt it very much.
Truth is the boys’ reputation wasn’t damaged at all. When the word got out about what happened, he had the respect of people from not only in his school, but from all around the city as well. How did the word get out? A passenger on the bus at the time who saw what happened called the local newspaper, and they in turn did a story on it. But even if the word didn’t get out and nobody knew what happened, he still would have earned the respect of the most important person… Himself.
I guess it’s true what they say, “The strongest person in the world is he who is able to stand alone.”