Would you choose to do nothing, if you witnessed someone who has special needs being made fun of and mocked? Will you intervene?

Well, there will be times in life when you are tested, regardless of who you are or where you are from. These circumstances, whether life-or-death or character-testing, show you and everyone around you what you are truly made of. One such test was given to shoppers at a grocery store in New Jersey when they encountered a young guy with Down syndrome. He was simply going about his job when he was ridiculed by a stranger.

In the fast and busy bustle of our daily lives, the best of us can lose patience when we’re stuck in long lines. However, that’s no excuse for allowing impatience to turn into outright bullying of employees who are just trying their best to do their jobs.

Peter, a grocery store bagger in New Jersey, does his job of bagging groceries, but not as quickly as one unkind customer would like. Because Peter has Down syndrome, the shopper began calling him names, making fun of him, and using profanities in front of other customers.

The younger woman begins to berate Peter, a bagger with special needs.

Anyone with a conscience would feel queasy watching the exchange between the enraged customer and the staff.

Without thinking about how Peter could feel, she attacked the young man with insults. She labeled the special needs bagger dumb and demanded to know why the market even permitted him to work in the front of the store where he wouldn’t annoy customers who were in a rush, rather than keeping him in the back.

Needless to say, it was a horrifying sight.

However, it would be an understatement to suggest that witnesses had a strong response. One woman in particular, who also happened to be a teacher, made the decision to impart some knowledge to the critic. She intended to demonstrate respect for the woman in front of her. The fellow customer promptly interrupted the rude customer after they used the derogatory term “retarded” and said they had entered the “slow lane.”

Teaching the bully a lesson in compassion, the woman snapped back, saying, “That isn’t the word we use anymore.”

She continued, “I work as a teacher and I try to be sensitive to someone’s needs.  Sometimes we all need to do that.” The teacher added, “I think we should have good manners,” after the bully persisted in speaking insensitive words.

“Are you done so I can move on? ” the teacher asked, dismissing the bully after she used the word “retarded” yet again. The most important lesson was then imparted to everyone in present. She didn’t simply preach; she also lived what she preached. She walked up to the bagger’s side and gave him a hug, encouraging him to ignore the obnoxious woman.

Practicing what she preached, the woman moved to embrace the bagger with special needs, showing him compassion.

However, shoppers weren’t aware the cameras captured the whole ordeal, it was all a part of an ABC television program called “What Would You Do? “, John Quinones, the host. Just as the name suggests, the purpose of the show is to put random strangers in awkward circumstances to see what they would do. The responses were unquestionably real, even though Peter and the bullies he ran into were actors but those who spoke up weren’t acting.

In the end, almost everyone makes the right decision. We shouldn’t remain silent when we see bullying occurring. Making the world a more caring and compassionate environment is something we can all contribute to. We all get impatient at times, but that doesn’t give you the right to treat others badly.

Even when they are told to mind their own business, they insisted the bully stop. As bystanders spoke up, coming to the boy’s defense each and every time they were presented with the uncomfortable display.

With one fed-up customer said, “It is my business. Anytime I see anybody being discriminated against. You’re mistreating this young man, and you ought to cut it out. You’re not back in here. I’m telling you.”

Watch the video below for more details:

Sources: Taphaps, Littlethings, Patch




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