A Heart-Warming Story
At a major league baseball game this summer, two young fans tried to catch a baseball that was thrown into the stands by a player. Of course, one caught it and one didn’t. The boy who caught the ball, Ian, celebrated and ran back to his seat. However, when he turned around, he saw the other boy crying. Without any prompting, he decided to give the ball to this boy.
The announcers saw all of this unfold and commented on this random act of kindness. They were so impressed by Ian’s generosity that they decided to reward his selflessness. Ian received an autographed bat, was introduced to members of the team and threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the next night’s game. They were highly praised for doing the right thing.
Author’s Perspective (Positive): When interviewed about the incident, Ian said, “My mom and dad taught me that way…so it just came natural.” One announcer said, “That’s good home training,” while the other one commented, “That’s a very well-bred young man.” It reminded me of the enormous impact that parents and teachers have on the morality and the actions of young people. I hope all parents spend time teaching such values and virtues to their children.
Author’s Perspective (Negative): The announcers commented, “I can’t believe I just witnessed that… You, young man, are a star!” I might just be in a cynical mood, but is our world that void of character that we need to make such a fuss? Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a noble gesture and I also like to point out when people do the right thing. The announcers seem to be implying that they have never seen a fan do something so kind and/or they would not expect others in the same situation to do the same thing. ABC News thought it was such a shift from the norm that they decided to make Ian their national person of the week. My reaction to that is, “Really?” Has our society dipped that low? Are “we” really that mean? Uncaring? Selfish? Is Ian one in a thousand kids, one a a hundred or is he pretty typical of what “you” would have done? I prefer to think the latter.
1) Is Ian unique or is he pretty typical? Why or why not?
2) It’s very easy to say what you would have done and to give yourself credit, but think of something that you really care about (like an autograph from your favorite celebrity) and ask yourself if you would have done the same thing? Take a poll in your class.
3) How much an impact do you think a parent has on a child’s morality and behavior? What about teachers? Other adults? Friends? Who has influenced you the most?