My good intentions turned into an awkward situation so I’m wondering how you would have handled it. While in line at Rita’s, I saw the cashier tell the boy in front of me the cost of his water ice. He was $0.96 short so explained he was going to have to go to the car and ask his mother for the additional money.

Thinking I could do a nice deed, and keep the line moving, I pulled a dollar out of my wallet and gave it to the guy. He quietly said “thanks.” While the cashier was processing the transaction, I tried to make some friendly small talk with him.  Noticing his uniform, I asked if he had a good soccer game. He seemed really uncomfortable and just nodded his head.

Did I cross a line? Did it seem like I was prying? I simply tried to engage him while he was waiting for the cashier to return. Maybe he is just shy? Or, is he following the rule of “Don’t talk to strangers.”

I thought my random act of kindness would have ended the night on a positive note for myself, as well as for him. That was my hope anyway. But instead, I walked away feeling like I had upset him or made him uncomfortable. And then I got upset with myself.

Parents and Teachers, was I wrong to offer the money to this child, who was maybe 10 years old? Do you think his timid reaction was based on his learning about “Stranger Danger?”