The Old Woman's Hat

October 26, 2017
By Ben03 BRONZE, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Ben03 BRONZE, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Have you ever seen someone who needs help? I have. Every day I see someone who needs help. These stories are about two of those times that I saw someone in need and helped.

On my sister’s ninth birthday my family took her to her favorite shopping complex. This shopping complex had hundreds of stores and two large food courts. At about one o’clock we decided to eat in the bigger of the two food courts. We had ordered our food and received it. We were walking back to our table when I saw an elderly Hispanic woman eating with her grandchildren. She was struggling to get her coat off. When she finally got her coat off my family was walking parallel to her table. Her hat had fell off during her jacket struggle and fell right in front of me. She turned and looked down at it. I could tell that she was not in good enough shape to reach down and grab it, because she needed a cane to walk. I gave my mother the tray I was carrying, crouched down, quickly picked up the hat, and gave it to her. I remember looking her in the eyes I felt a sort of connection between the two of us. She did not speak English but somehow that small action had broken a huge language barrier. She said “gracias,” and I said “your welcome”. She could not understand English but I knew she understood me. That night I had reflected on what I had done and decided to help others more often.

The next year we had went to the same place for my sister’s tenth birthday. Once again, we had found ourselves in the same food court and I remembered what happened the previous year. As if I was back there again, another woman had dropped her purse as she was reaching down at it I picked it up and gave it to her. This woman could speak English and she said “thank you,” and was clearly surprised that I did not run of with her purse. I replied with the same “your welcome” that I had the year before.

In an instant the lives of two people were less stressful, and happier. I received no recognition, no plaque, no interview on the news, but I felt better about myself knowing I had helped someone I did not know. From then on I decided that what I had done was a sign to help others.  I now try to help everyone that I can. This has even brought me to the conclusion that my career will be a career of service. I know that somewhere in the world, that same old Hispanic woman who could not understand me is proud of all the things that I have done for others, since that day in the food court. I have made the lives of countless people better since that day in the food court with small helping actions.

My philosophy? Always help others, no matter what, because one small action can make the world around you ten times better of a place.

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