Vol. 14


Room for Two

c. 1978; St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The Jeep Wagoneer was packed and ready for moving day. Five kids piled into the vehicle, including my father, six-year-old John. John’s father, Alvin, started the engine, and the family set off towards their new home in Arizona. Alvin drove for miles before they needed more supplies. Then they stopped at the nearest Walmart.

As soon as they pulled into the parking lot, the family began a hunt for a parking space. The lot was unusually crowded, and it was jam-packed with honking cars, shopping carts, flashing lights, and busy people. John was surrounded by noise and motion. Eventually, after circling the parking lot multiple times, Alvin found a comfortable spot large enough for the Wagoneer, and still roomy.

Alvin began to pull the vehicle into the parking space. Suddenly a driver coming toward them hit the gas and sped into the empty spot. The man who had been driving hopped out of the car, and to the horror of John’s entire family, sprinted towards Walmart. Alvin swiftly jumped out of the Wagoneer and chased after him, calling, “Hey, hey! Wait!” When Alvin caught up to the man he asked, “Do you think that we can both fit?”

The man was surprised by the question. He stuttered, “Um, yes. Yes, I suppose we could.” They returned to the parking space and adjusted their vehicles so that they could both squeeze into the spot.

Afterwards, John was surprised. He’d thought that his father would yell, or even beat the stranger up. In the end, they were able to go into Walmart and get what they needed to buy.

The reaction from Alvin was pleasantly unexpected. John was surprised at the generosity his father had shown the man who had taken their spot. He realized that the correct thing to do was not what he had expected to happen. This made a large impression on John as a kid. Kindness is more important than self-righteousness.

Florence M. Sarra; Missouri, USA



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