It was last week. I had a grade-deciding final project due in my 3-D design class, and as any art related student will understand, I had to stretch some resources to find materials to work with. That's the most unimportant detail of this post. It's just part of the back story. I was hunting for used cardboard, to be exact. I went store to store, door to door. In this process, I only faced sour faces, short words, and turned backs. Not one single person that I encountered was willing to help me locate even the slightest amount of material I needed. I could credit this to the fact that with each failed attempt, I became a little less conversational and convincing, seeing as the stress of the week and night was catching up to me. That's an excuse, and I'll accept that. But that doesn't change the effect it had on my mood; the world was winning. I felt worn down. How could not one single person be willing to take a second out of their night shift to help me? I'm not sure if it was selfishness, laziness, or just the choice not to care that stopped these people from lending a hand or offering a tip. I knew that if roles were reversed, I wouldn't shrug off their request. I would at least make an effort to make it SEEM like I cared. I understand the variation of people in the world, even though I've only been exposed to a grain of the sand castle, but it baffled me that night and it broke me down how inconsiderate every person was.
Luckily, the night was beautiful. I was trying to keep my head up and work out a solution for my procrastination and failed attempts. I kept driving around with cardboard vision, doing drive by's of every dumpster in town. I decided that I had time to walk around for a little bit, that the night was too pretty to pass up. I chose to try again in the morning and parked my car at the local outdoor shopping mall. Shops still had a couple hours left before closing, and I was in need of a cocktail dress by the end of the week. So I started store hopping.
Every store I walked into, I was asked if I could be helped. What? You want to help me? Normally, on a regular day, this wouldn't phase me. I may actually be annoyed by the pestering. If I wanted help, I would've asked. But today, today was a different outlook. They wanted to help me. This was beyond refreshing. I still felt the weight of the world as if things just weren't balanced. I was hoping for a break in the defense, a gamechanging run.
I decided I would walk into one last store before I made my way home. I made my way to the checkout counter and asked a woman where the reading glasses were. She escorted me to the shelves of glasses to choose from. I began trying them on, attempting to get my mind off how battered I felt. Some people say that the world sends you signs. Whether that be religious or simply coincidence differs by opinion and belief. I needed one of those, but I didn't know that at the time. Out of nowhere, as I knelt to the ground deciding on glasses, a young boy came running my way. I barely saw him coming from behind the shelving. He was about 3 years old, that's all I could gather before he stopped in front of me, eye to eye, and muttered "you're pretty" with bashful eyes and innocent stance. He then ran back to somewhere on other side of the store without me seeing where he went. I let out a thank you as fast as I could while trying to grasp the situation. How incredibly sweet. How perfect in timing. I couldn't help but see it as a sign. As an "it's gonna be okay." I stayed kneeling on the ground, smiling ear to ear. I was so humbled. I then saw the bright eyed boy run to his mom in the checkout line. He saw me still kneeling and came running back to me before I could react. He wrapped both of his arms around me in the most sincere hug I've ever embraced. Let me reiterate, he was 3. How could a 3 year old insert this much positivity into my world in such a short amount of time? I can't explain it. I heard his mom lecturing him on the way out, "Mason, you can't just hug people, some people don't like that." Yet little did Mason know, he turned my world around with that hug. The little things prevailed in that moment and I no longer felt the weight of the world. Instead, I felt it gliding with me.
I immediately called my mom and told her the story of my encounter as I was fighting happy tears from my eyes. I walked passed a store, and in that instant, saw the dress I had been imagining to find. The woman working the checkout counter willingly took the dress off the mannequin as it was the last one in my size. I drove home, still smiling ear to ear, as I passed a newly thrown out mountain of cardboard boxes. Those were small details in my opinion. Somehow, everything started falling into place. If you ask me, it was all due to Mason. Somehow, he turned the world around for me.
There are many Masons in your life, coincidence or not. See them in all their glory and never underestimate the power of true sincerity. You may not remember me, Mason, but I'll never forget the lesson you taught me and the joy you brought into my life so quickly.