I took my daughter to watch the movie Wonder last week. Great movie, by the way. Afterwards we had to use the overhead bridge to cross over Orchard Road and when we got to the top of the escalator, I saw a lady standing in the corner looking a little distraught. When I approached her I realised that she had Down's Syndrome. I asked her if she was ok and she said, "I don't want, I don't want to go down" and pointed to the escalator.
I started talking to her and she immediately grabbed my arm like it was a lifeline. We talked for awhile and she eventually agreed to try and go down the escalator with me. It was a really narrow one so we could not go down next to each other which had her terrified. We had a few failed attempts where we would go to the top, try to step on and then she would panic and back away. This obviously caused a bit of a hold up at the top of the escalator. Most people were understanding and waited patiently but what really surprised me was that there were quite a number of people who got really impatient. They either shoved their way past us or stood by and grumbled impatiently. Even my 11 year old was patiently standing and waiting for me, we had been delayed half an hour already by then!
The whole theme of the movie we had just watched was kindness. Kindness! And here I was a half hour later witnessing a total lack of it. That really got me thinking. Are we doing enough as a society to instill this in our children? Perhaps it is time we incorporated this into our curriculum. We give so much emphasis to so many different aspects of education but what ever happened to the basic human values. The English teacher in the movie, Mr Browne, had managed to successfully incorporate this into his classroom teachings. So teachers and educators, when you walk into your classroom tomorrow morning, think about how you can instill a little human values into your lessons and activities.