The Rag-and-Bone Man

As we were heading to the car the other day, we ran into the rag-and-bone man just outside the carpark. As usual, just like how you’d say hi to the construction workers and any random passer by, you greeted the rag-and-bone man happily. In return, he said “hello boy” to you too.

Then you said a word which would have been extremely hurtful if he had heard it. Smelly. You said “smelly”. I immediately stopped you and you got a serious scolding in the car by your daddy and me for making such a remark.

Well son, you may be young and most people will forgive you simply because they will think you are just a kid. But why mummy and daddy were so angry that day was because of the fact that you were extremely rude and mean despite the fact that I believe it was never your intention.

Quite honestly though, I have no idea if you were referring to the rag-and-bone man, or the unwanted items in his lorry that was smelly. Everything just happened so quickly. But since there was really no smell from that vehicle and man, I thought it was a stereotype that the rag-and-bone man / his collections was/were smelly. I kept asking you who told you that they smell but you refused to answer.

When you grow up, I hope you learn the following :

1. The tongue is the sharpest weapon. Words may just be words, but they can really affect people. You will be amazed by how powerful words really are

2. Putting yourself in others’ shoes. How would you feel if someone told you, or someone you love that they are smelly?

It may be over now but I truly hope you learn and never forget this lesson.

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