You try to teach your kids to be kind and compassionate, but ultimately it's up to them to step up and make good decisions when it comes to their interactions with others. One little kid, Christian Moore, only 8 years old, recently demonstrated just how awesome he was when he befriended a classmate with autism on the first day of school.
The first day of school for anyone in any grade is a big deal, and it can be totally overwhelming. For Connor Crites, also 8 years old and a rising second-grader at Minneha Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas, the first day of school was proving to be a little too much to handle, and he started crying.
That's when Christian found and held his hand to be his buddy and make him feel better. Christian's mom took this sweet picture and posted it to Facebook along with the story. "I'm so proud of my son," Courtney Coko Moore wrote on Facebook. "He seen a kid balled up into a corner crying, so he went to console him, grabbed his hand, and walked him inside of the school!
"It is an honor to raise such a loving, compassionate child," she continued. "He's a kid with a big heart, the first day of school started off right." I'll say! Christian's gesture of kindness was so simple. He didn't know Connor. He just saw a kid in need.
Courtney's post about Christian went super viral, and then Connor's mom and grandmother reached out in the comments to share just how much it meant to them that Christian helped Connor when he was upset.
Connor's mom April explained that he has autism and she often worries that he's going to be bullied for being different. But the way Christian helped him makes her feel a little less scared for her son.
"That's all I can ask for, is someone to be open to him like that," April told ABC News. "I'm so happy that something so positive is coming from all this, that my son got a friend, hopefully a friend for life." Connor was nonverbal until he was 5 years old, and April worries every day that he'll be laughed at or mocked.
But now, he's got an inseparable bond with an awesome friend. Connor spoke to ABC News about his new friend: "He was kind to me. I was in the first day of school and I started crying. Then he helped me and I was happy."
It didn't register to Christian that Connor was different in any way. He just saw a kid who was upset and overwhelmed and needed a friend, so he walked over on his own and took his hand. "He found me and held my hand and I got happy tears," Connor said. We got happy tears too, Connor.
Courtney, April, and the boys were interviewed together for ABC News. It was clear the boys didn't think of themselves as extraordinary; they really just wanted to get back to playing together. And that's the whole point of this story.
"It doesn't matter, color, it doesn't matter, gender, it doesn't matter, disability, and it doesn't matter anything," April said. "Just be kind, open your heart. It's what we need in this world."
"One act of kindness can change someone's life," Courtney added.
As for Connor and Christian, they were fast friends and they love playing together. Christian's advice to others is really very simple when you think about it: "Be nice." It should be that easy, shouldn't it?