If you ever need a reminder that there are still good people in this world, look to Scouting.
Here’s an awesome example that happened just last week.
Elian, a 13-year-old Life Scout from Troop 43 in Princeton, N.J., was walking to meet his dad for a ride to a Pokémon tournament.
On his way from home through downtown Princeton to meet his father, Elian heard a woman crying. Most 13-year-olds would have kept walking — but not Elian. What he did will make you proud to call yourself a Scouter or Scout. And it’s proof positive that the concept of “kindness to strangers” is alive and well.
Adrienne, Elian’s proud mom, shared the story with me, and it’s best I let her tell it. So here goes:
Elian’s Good Turn
Elian did something yesterday that made me incredibly proud to be his mother.
Yesterday, he was walking through town (by himself) on his way to meet his dad to go to a Pokémon tournament. As he passed the Palmer Square kiosk, he heard someone crying. He stopped and saw a young woman sitting and crying uncontrollably. He asked if everything was OK and if he could help. The girl shook her head “no,” so he started back on his way.
But then he stopped again, sensing something really wasn’t right. He went back and asked what had happened and found out she had come to Princeton with a friend, and the two had a fight. The friend left her there where she had been sitting since 4 a.m. with no money — just her phone and backpack.
She didn’t know where she was, other than “the middle of Princeton,” and she didn’t know how to get home. Her parents don’t own a car and couldn’t come and get her.
He called me, very distraught. He was upset for her and upset that so many people had just walked by, not even noticing. He stayed with her for a while and gave her his cap. I then went to town to see if I could help. I brought her to the Trenton train station and bought her a ticket home. We called her last night, and she got home safely.
What makes me proud?
That he noticed.
That he stopped.
That his instincts said this was serious.
That he went back.
That he asked us for help.
That he wanted to know she made it home.
That he checked that she made it home.
That he is only 13.
If you have read this far, thanks for listening to me kvell about the wonderful young man I have the good fortune to call my son.
When Elian called this young woman last night, she said to him, “I wish there were more people like you.” Perhaps as this reaches a wider audience, more people will be reminded of just how far a little kindness can go. And then more people will do things like this. And then the world will be just that much better.
More about Elian
This is some remarkable 13-year-old. Adrienne tells me Elian has been in Scouting since Tigers, has served as Den Chief and is currently the troop’s Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.
He volunteers with his middle school’s “Do Something Club” and the local animal shelter. He has recorded more than 100 hours of volunteer time a year for each of the past three years. He’s performing in his school’s production of Annie this spring.
When Adrienne first posted about Elian’s Good Turn on Facebook, she received dozens of messages from strangers and friends suggesting she share Elian’s story.
“I’m thrilled that so many people have responded,” she says, “and that his being a good person who was willing to help someone in need is making others realize perhaps they could do more of the same. And that’s what Scouting is all about.”