Unless you don’t pay attention to social media (and probably good for you if you don’t), you likely have heard about new friends Conner Crites and Christian Moore.
The 8-year-olds met recently on the first day of school at Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita.
Conner, identified by his mother as autistic, was feeling overwhelmed. Christian approached him and took his hand. Christian didn’t know about the challenges Conner faces. He just knew Conner was crying.
The photo of the two has shown up everywhere – on every major network and in newspapers and magazines. It’s gone viral on social media.
The simple gesture is a sweet reminder of how easy it is to change someone’s day – for the better.
“They are both such sweet boys,” April Crites, Conner’s mother, told me in a Facebook message. “Since the photo was taken, they have had two play dates, and hopefully a sleepover is in the future.”
I grew up watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” On that show, Mister (Fred) Rogers encouraged children to look for the helpers when they were scared or sad or confused.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’ ” Mister Rogers told us.
What he said is true.
Every day, there are children such as Christian and adults such as Mister Rogers making a positive difference in people’s lives. Sometimes, you have to look harder for them than the people causing trouble and heartache. The latter are always ridiculously easy to find.
What also went viral about the same time as Conner and Christian’s happy story? The Popeyes fried chicken sandwich.
I saw footage of people hitting and yelling at each other over a fast-food sandwich. A sandwich.
Me, I’m going to focus on 8-year-old Christian, who acted like a helper, not a fool. And on Conner, brave enough to accept help.
I’ll remember their photo for much longer than I’ll remember that sandwich.