A 7-year-old boy with a big smile on his face dressed up as superman and hopped onto a train. Sure, it’s become increasingly common for parents to allow their children to wear what they please, even if it is a princess dress or a Shreck costume. And after all, why not? If it’s not hurting anyone and it makes the child happy (and gets everyone out of the house faster), then we shouldn’t judge parents for letting children be children and dress up as their favorite fictional characters.
But this boy’s story is different. This boy didn’t just dress up as a super hero because he woke up in an imaginative mood. This boy had a heartwarming and compelling reason to don that costume. Unfortunately, he bumped into a stupid, grumpy passenger who said to him: “You aren’t superman so why are ya dressed like him?”
Many children may have quailed at such a gruff and grizzly demeanor, but our young hero looked the guy bravely in the eyes and told him “ I may not look like Superman to you, but I’m going to see my mom who is very sick in hospital and she smiles every time she sees me, so I’m her Superman, and that’s why I’m dressed like this.”
Maybe that costume wasn’t a costume after all.
First and foremost I hope that this child’s mother is doing better and wish her a speedy recovery. I commend the little guy for going to such lengths to make his mother happy and for standing up to this awful man. I also hope the old codger learned a valuable lesson.
In fact, I hope we all learn a lesson from this intrepid boy. We all have it in us to be a hero – to someone. Whether it’s our mom or dad, sister or brother, partner, friend, or stranger, we have the power each and every day to rise to the challenge and come through for others, even when they least expect it. Sure, we might become frustrated sometimes and remember those occasions when others didn’t come through for us. That might tempt us to ask the question, why should I be there for Johnny when no one ever comes through for me? Or, more to the point, why should I go the extra mile to help Sara when it was she who failed me the last time I needed help?
It’s tempting, but wouldn’t this world be better off with more heroes? More people who didn’t remember the times that others failed them? In the spirit of this story’s boy hero, and in honor of his ailing mother who raised such a plucky young fellow, don’t look back, pay it forward.