Peter, a special needs bagger, was working at Kilroy’s Wonder Market in Glen Rock, New Jersey when things soon grew unpleasant for passersby. A client proceeded to verbally harass Peter, who has Down Syndrome, claiming that the bagger with special needs was going too slowly.
She lambasted the young guy with disparaging remarks, unconcerned about how he felt. She branded the special-needs bagger idiotic and wondered why the market even allowed him to work at the front of the shop instead of putting him in the back, where he wouldn’t be a burden to shoppers in a hurry.
It would be an understatement to say that witnesses had a strong response. One of the women happened to be a schoolteacher, so she tried to teach the critic something. She was going to show the woman in front of her some respect. The unpleasant customer promptly spoke out after remarking that they had entered the “slow lane” and used the pejorative word “retarded.”
She retorted, “That’s not the term they use anymore.” She works as a teacher, and she tries to be attentive to someone’s needs, she continued, teaching the bully a lesson in empathy. Sometimes one just has to do it, she went on. As the bully refused to stop making condescending comments, the instructor responded that she believed they should have decent manners.
The instructor terminated the bully after she used the epithet “retarded” again. “Are you finished so I can move on?” she inquired. Then she taught everyone who was watching the most important lesson of all. Instead of simply preaching, she turned her words into action. She moved to the bagger’s side and hugged him, urging him not to worry about the harsh lady.
Fortunately, it was all part of a sociological experiment for John Quinones’ ABC program, “What Would You Do?” As the name indicates, the programme sets out to place unsuspecting individuals in embarrassing situations to see what they would do. While Peter and the bullies he met were actors, their emotions were unmistakably genuine. Those that shouted up were not playing, and the video will instantly restore one’s faith in mankind.
Every time they were confronted with the unsettling sight, spectators spoke out, defending the youngster. Despite being urged to mind their own business, they persisted on stopping the bully.
Although the world is full with bullies, it is also full of builders, individuals who encourage others on and protect them against detractors who want to ruin others’ self-worth and self-confidence. Every day, we have the option of being a bully or a builder, just like everyone in this video. Ideally, we will also choose to boost people up, motivate them, show kindness, and provide pleasure, building them up instead of tearing them down.