Father thought the homeless man is begging for money from his son: his heart froze when the child revealed the truth
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all guilty of judging others to one degree or another. It's only human to do this as we try to navigate our surroundings, but that doesn't mean it's okay.
Admitting that we can be prejudiced is not flattering, as it paints a dark and grim side of us.
The father in the story below wasn't proud to reveal that side of him either, but he decided to do it so we could all learn something very important from his son.
Why not try to see the world through the loving and unprejudiced eyes of children?
Blanton O'Neill was outside his home with his 11-year-old son, Sean, when they saw something that could happen to anyone - and it's very easy to make the same mistake.
The father later described the events in a Facebook post:
"I debated with myself whether to publish this story as it shows an unflattering side of me as a person. But I think in the end this is a picture of many of us if we are really honest with ourselves.
Yesterday, when Sean and I were driving to his soccer tournament we stopped at a small gas station to get something to drink. While I paid, I gave Sean the keys so he could walk back to the car.
It took me a while to pay and as I was leaving the store, I noticed Sean's door open and he walked away from the car towards a man in a wheelchair. He was an older African American guy with no legs and he looked 'homeless'.
My first reaction was, unfortunately, 'Oh no!', he asked Sean for money and called him to come to him.
But as I got closer, it was clear that Sean was having a short conversation with the man, turned around and went back to the car. So I did the same."
"When I got into the car, I asked him what exactly happened there.
'Nothing dad. I just asked him if he needed help',
He said no thanks, that he was fine and thanked me for asking.
You see, at first glance I didn't even notice that the man in the wheelchair was trying to cross the gravel path in the parking lot, using only his hands. I didn't notice that my 11 year old was man enough to see this through the car mirror, put down the tablet he was playing with, go outside and offer the guy help.
As we started driving Sean asked if we could give the man money. We stopped by him and I asked if a few dollars would help him.
He said, 'No thanks, I'm fine. Your son is a true gentleman and he has given me everything I need today. May God bless you.'
We closed the window and started driving. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Sean waving goodbye to him and he waved back with a big smile on his face.
Would I get out of the car and do the same?
I am not publishing the post so that Sean will get compliments. I post this to expose bad things we have in the world. We see so much bitterness and hate every day in the news, in every Facebook post, in every tweet. It's not something left and right. We all do it. We forgot to look at the world through the eyes of a child.
Many people have told us over the years what a big heart Sean has. He can be larger than life at social events, when he chooses to be the joker, but these small acts of kindness sometimes go under the radar, as they should. Sean wasn't looking for compliments for what he did. He didn't even know I would see it. He just saw a person he thought needed help.
If we all made someone smile, at least once a day, whether it's a stranger, a friend or family member, we think we would change the world for the better. Blanton's story reveals why it is important not to judge anyone at first sight - no person can be defined by looks or clothes.
Children know how to see the person behind the surface, but we adults have lost ourselves and judge people too quickly, too easily, all the time.
We hope that Sean's example of a small and good deed will be one step on the way to change - maybe we can all do something good today for someone we don't know?
Click the like and share the story - we can all make the world a better place.