A moment of tenderness

A little kid (maybe 3 or 4) had come off his scooter, in the school playground. He was sprawled on the ground, crying. Somewhere, his parent was seeing off an older sibling. I looked around, but couldn’t see an obvious candidate.

Before I could see if he was okay, a bigger kid with a Grade 6 shirt on reached him and helped him up, looking him over. “You’re okay” he said softly. “You’re all right.”

The crying seemed to drop to a quiet whimper, the little kid got up, and the bigger one glanced around for the youngster’s parent, as a couple of other concerned kids looked on. They seemed to have the situation under control, so I walked on.

Kids at the school are used to dealing others outside their own age group — they have a “buddy” system where grade 5s and 6s team up with Preps. Seeing things like this, the benefits are pretty obvious, though I once encountered a kid from another school, on the train, trying to explain the concept to his cranky grandmother, who was the epitome of cynical. I hope we don’t all get like that as we grow older.

But seeing this kind of thing happen gives you hope for the human race.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “A moment of tenderness”

The song “He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother” springs to mind. I love hearing these sorts of stories. Restores your faith doesn’t it?

I remember when I started primary, there was a buddy system. We all got paired up with one, two or three senior kids who looked after us during our first year. I remember the girls who looked after me, they were the highlight of my starting year.

This kind of behaviour happens all the time at my son’s school – they have the buddy system and it seems to help them outside of school too.

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