Number 8 – YOU REALLY IMPRESSED ME!
I had a craving for Subway. I entered the line at the same time as this young man and encouraged him to go ahead of me. He was wearing a Triad Football jersey so I asked him what grade he was in. He said “I am a sophomore, ma’am”. I asked if he attended the recent Career Day at Triad High School and had heard the speaker in the gym. He said “I thought you looked familiar”. We laughed.
I went on to ask him about the football game that will be taking place that evening and if they were playing at home and he said “yes ma’am, we are”. I explained that the “smart” parents park in the Chamber’s lot so they can get out quickly. We both laughed.
I then thanked him (and the rest of the Triad Football team) for attending two recent Triad Band competitions and how impressed I was with Triad Football Coach Bassler and his efforts to help the players show appreciation for the band. The band puts in endless marching and performing at football games and in competitions. The young man said “yes m’am. I don’t know how they remember all of the steps”. I told him I thought it would be great if a football player could stand with a band member while they are marching to learn the routine. He smiled.
The young man selected his bread and meat choices and moved on to the toppings. I motioned the cashier that I would like to pay for his lunch. As #8 arrived at the checkout and was told his lunch was paid for, he looked at me with a big smile and said “ma’am, you didn’t have to do that”. I said “I did. You are such a polite young man who had a nice conversation with me and was so polite. Please thank your parents for raising such a wonderful son. And while we are at it, let’s give him some cookies. He needs some extra energy for tonight’s game”.
They packed up his cookies and he gave me one last smile and exited Subway. I realized that I just had a less than five minute conversation with one of the nicest young men and learned so much from our short exchange:
- People should not be stereotyped. All of today’s youth are not lazy and can indeed make eye contact and hold conversations. (I have met 50-year-old adults who are lazy and unable to hold conversations.)
- Good manners begin at home and are often emulated by children. Parents have the power every single day to be a good example.
- All kids are not always on their phones. He never grabbed for his phone for one minute. Oh, and by the way, neither did I! lol.
- Coach Bassler is teaching these young men life lessons, including when those students are in their football jerseys, they are representing Triad.
- Students do pay attention – he remembered me from an event a couple of weeks ago in which 600 students were in the room.
- We all miss opportunities in everyday life to connect with others. You must be present in your life to be aware of all of the great moments you are missing.
Let’s be kind. Set good examples. Use manners. Be an owner of our life, not a renter. We are here for only a short time.
P.S. I hope one day I learn this young man’s name and can personally shake his parents’ hand. It would be my honor.
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