Blanton O’Neal was with his 11-year-old son Sean at a gas station when he watched his son interact with a stranger.
He recounted the situation on Facebook: “I debated making a post of this as it paints a not so flattering picture of me as a person. But I think in the end it is a picture of many of us if we are truly honest with ourselves. Yesterday, as Sean and I traveled to NC for his soccer tourney, we stopped at an exit near the N.C./S.C. border and pulled off at a small gas station for a drink. While I paid, I gave Sean the keys so he could head back out to the car.”
When he walked out of the store, he noticed that Sean’s door was open and saw him walking towards an older African-American man in a wheelchair. The man, whose legs were amputated, seemed homeless.
“My first reaction, sadly, was ‘oh crap! He is hitting Sean up for money and has called him over,’” Blanton wrote.
When he got back to the car, he asked Sean about his interaction with the man.
Nothing, Dad. I just was asking if he needed help. He said ‘no thanks,’ that he was fine but thanked me for asking,” the boy responded.
See, at first glance, I didn’t even notice that the gentleman was attempting to cross a gravel parking lot, full of potholes, in a wheelchair using only his hands. I didn’t notice that my 11yo child was man enough to see this in the mirror of my car, drop his electronics he was playing, get out and offer to help the guy,” the Facebook post read.
Sean asked if they could give the man some money, so Blanton pulled up beside the man and asked him if he wanted a few bucks.
He said, ‘No thank you, I’m fine. Your son was a real gentleman and gave me all I needed today. God Bless,’” Blanton recounted.
As he drove off, Blanton noticed Sean waving at the man, who waved back with a huge smile on his face.
“I don’t post this looking for any praise for Sean,” Blanton wrote. “I post this to expose a real nastiness we have in our world. We spew such bile and hatred on every news channel, every Facebook post, every tweet. We all do it. We have forgotten to look at the world through the eyes of a child.”
Many people have told us over the years how big-hearted Sean is. While he can be bigger than life in many social settings, choosing to be the jokester, his small acts of kindness fly under the radar, as they should. Sean wasn’t looking for praise for what he did. He didn’t even know I would see it. He just saw a man that he thought needed help,” he added.