In a world divided by race, politics, gender, and generational differences, it’s a rare and beautiful thing to see those gaps bridged by the act of being merely human.
A former U.S. Marine named Joseph did exactly that in a recent encounter he had with an endearing 16-month-old girl this weekend.
The girl’s father, Kevin Armentrout, tells the story in a viral Facebook post that has since warmed hearts across the nation.
“Last night, while waiting to board our plane, @_carterjean_ was being her usual inquisitive self wanting to meet and say ‘hi’ to everyone she could, until she walked up on this man,” wrote Kevin. “He reached out and asked if she wanted to sit with him. He pulled out his tablet and showed her how to draw with it, they watched cartoons together, and she offered him snacks.”
What blew the father away was not only the inviting and patient attitude that this complete stranger from Oklahoma had with his baby girl but also the extended length of time he invested in her.
“This wasn’t a short little exchange, this was 45 minutes,” Kevin continued. “Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her.”
He then commented on how Joseph’s actions stood in stark contrast to the polarizing division everpresent in our nation:
“In a country that is continuously fed that it’s so deeply divided by beliefs, I want her life to be filled with moments like this… not liberal or conservative republican or democrat, socialist or capitalist, just HUMAN.”
Kevin closed with a shoutout to the friendly stranger whose gentle spirit knocked down all barriers that day.
“Joseph from @samsungus in Oklahoma, if this should happen to find you. Thank you for showing my daughter what kindness and compassion looks [sic] like. Continue to shine your light in the world. #HateIsLearned#LiveWithPurpose #BeRelentless.”
Joseph and Kevin have since spoken on the phone and share an unspeakable bond that only unguarded kindness can forge.