When one young woman was buying ice cream at her local grocery store, she noticed a scene of commotion. She thought about the best way to proceed. Later, her actions led to self-doubt.
Have you ever witnessed an uncomfortable situation in public and felt the need to intervene? Sometimes it can be a clever idea, but on other occasions, it can do more harm than good.
A quick trip to get some ice cream became much more than one woman anticipated. Read her story and discover why she asked netizens for their opinions.
A woman in a grocery store. | Source: Flickr.com/Vitamin G
IT WEIGHED HEAVY ON HER MIND
A young woman needed to get something off of her chest after she experienced an awkward moment with a security guard and another fellow shopper in 2022.
Their encounter stayed in the woman's mind for a long time. It affected her outlook on life and made her realize something important.
The woman couldn't help but notice an older man and a security guard arguing as she walked down an aisle in the store. The shopper had a jar of sauce and spaghetti in his hands, but he had no money to pay for it.
An older man in the grocery store. | Source: Flickr.com/b5foan
THE SECURITY GUARD YELLED AT THE MAN
The security guard stopped the older man and told him he should not have entered the store without a means to pay for the items. However, the customer informed him that the person working at the cash register offered to pay for his goods.
But the security guard did not accept his explanation and made a fuss trying to remove the man from the store. The guard said:
"If he needed to beg, he had to do it outside and only come in when he had the money."
An old man. | Source: Pexels
SHE COULDN'T IGNORE THE HUMILIATION
The young woman couldn't ignore the incident. She said: "I felt sad for the man [who] only wanted to eat." She stated that the security guard did not need to make a scene and could've handled the situation better.
The woman knew the guard was only doing his job but wanted to defuse the situation and prevent the shopper from further humiliation. The woman added:
"I made the snap decision to walk by and give the man $50 - the smallest bill I had. Just put it in his hand. There. He has money now. I was in a rush (ice cream was melting), so I kept walking."
Security guard. | Source: Pexels
THE MAN WAS THANKFUL
The woman was surprised when the stranger she had helped found her again in the store. He was grateful for her kindness and noted that it was his 52nd birthday. He wished her well, and she never saw him again.
However, their encounter stayed in the woman's mind for a long time. It affected her outlook on life and made her realize something important—she saw how fortunate she was. The woman shared:
"I'm moving for college tomorrow and was stressing over not having a stove and a fan. After this encounter, those issues seemed so superficial. I just feel grateful."
A person pays with cash. | Source: Pexels
SHE DOUBTED HER DECISION
Amid her shift in perspective, other thoughts filled the woman's mind. She wondered whether she had done the right thing in helping the stranger–unaware if he was genuinely needy.
She would never know where her $50 went after she said goodbye to the man, but she tried to remain positive. The woman shared the story on Reddit, hoping netizens would settle her doubts and reassure her.
Young woman shopping. | Source: Pexels
THE ONLINE REACTION
The online community had much to say about the incident, and many shared similar stories. One user wrote: "It probably meant even more to him than you'll ever know."
The commenter revealed that they were in an unfortunate position and relied on the kindness of strangers frequently. They added:
"Most people have their own things going on, few people care, whatever the situation is. But when somebody does, man, the gratefulness is overwhelming. I'm sure you made not just his day but his week."
Someone else thanked the woman for being kind to a stranger, noting that the small things in life often made a significant difference.
Stranger helps someone in need. | Source: Pexels
TRYING TO BE A GOOD PERSON
One netizen stated that they worked at a convenience store and regularly helped customers when they needed some extra money to pay for their items. They said:
"Every now and then, someone will come in and give me money to 'pay me back.' I never remember who I did this for, so it’s always a cool surprise. I don’t expect it or ask for it. Just trying to be a good person."
Users also shared stories about strangers who used donations to maintain bad habits. They encouraged people to help others but suggested providing groceries instead of cash.
It can be challenging to determine whether helping someone unfamiliar is a good idea. However, being a generous and kind person is often the best course of action.
Someone helps an older man. | Source: Pexels
TALKING TO STRANGERS
When our paths cross with strangers, it is always best to be kind while staying on high alert—even if people appear to be friendly, they could be putting up a front.
Dr. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph urged people to equip themselves and their kids with a few skills to avoid potentially harmful situations. She said:
"Instead of judging a person by appearance ... judge people by their actions. It's also important to encourage kids to trust their own instincts. If they feel like something's not right they need to walk away."
Strangers talking. | Source: Pexels
Talking to strangers doesn't need to be something that is prohibited. Sometimes, it is crucial to communicate with them for assistance. Do you agree, and what are your thoughts about the security guard's actions?
What would you do if you were in the same situation as the young woman? Share this story so more people can learn about the risks and possible benefits of talking to strangers.
Click here for another story about someone's interaction with a stranger. One young boy started walking home after his bus broke down—then, an unfamiliar person approached him, offering a ride.
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