The Other Side of the Story - "Say Cheese"

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The Other Side of the Story - Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt

When it’s hot outside, don’t let it get you hot “inside.” While being careful and caring is so important, it’s also worth considering another story is taking place in…

The Other Side of the Store

As a store owner who deals with many different people over the course of the day, I encountered a little girl who was perhaps six or seven years old, huddled against the shelves crying. Since she was most likely unable to find her parents in the store, and thus was so sad, I went over and offered my assistance.

Yes, she had come with her father. Yes, he had left her in the store. No, she had not followed him when he left the store. Yes, he had gone to another store. No, she wasn't sure when he'd be back.. Her mother? No, she was not home. Yes she was thirsty. A coke would be very nice, thank you. Ok, she would sit on the stool at the front so her father could see her when he remembered that he had left her behind.

I was very upset. How could a father leave behind such a young child by herself? The little girl felt so lost. I started calling her home number in case he had returned home having simply forgot that he had taken her along.

Approximately a quarter of an hour later, her father came rushing in. Of course, I right away let him know my opinion of careless, scatterbrained parents who don't keep track of whom they had taken shopping, feeling very self-righteous because of the time I had devoted to his daughter, not to mention the Coke "on-the-house".

He was beside himself because I had so not understood what had transpired. The mother had an emergency and had to take the family car, leaving her husband in charge of the pre-Shabbat errands and the children. They had walked to the store on an intensely hot day, and this little girl simply did not have the strength to walk any further, and she had to rest in a pleasant, air-conditioned place. The poor father, torn by his various responsibilities on that late afternoon, reluctantly made up with her that she would wait in the store and he would return after 15 minutes, in order to enable her to have the strength to make the walk home.

I was so embarrassed of having suspected this gentle father of being negligent. He was almost in tears himself.

And the little girl happily bounded off the chair where I had esconced her to keep her well in view, and fortified by her Coke and her rest, marched homeward.

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The Other Side of the Story Archives

Based on "The Other Side of the Story" by Mrs. Yehudis Samet, ArtScroll Series

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