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.