After receiving a scathing note on her windshield about parking in a handicapped space, an Arizona mother has chosen not to retaliate, but rather, implore people to be kind to one another.
Stephanie Cook lives in Gilbert, Arizona, busy raising her three kids, including 12-year-old Lucy, who has cerebral palsy.
Everyday errands are taxing on the child’s body, such as walking from the car into a store and back again, but still, Lucy loves a chance to go out with her family.
On a hot summer day, Cook and her kids went to a local Walmart, parking in a handicap space as per the norm when Lucy is with them.
“We were in there for quite a while,” Cook told KPNX-TV. “When we got back, we got Lucy all loaded in. A nice man even took back our shopping cart. And then, we got in, went to drive away, and found there was a little note on my windshield.”
The note was anything but encouraging. In fact, it was a judgmental, angry lecture on the importance of leaving handicap spaces available for people who actually need them.
“You are extremely lucky I’m not an a–hole who would key your car for parking in handicap. Shame on you — you very selfish, lazy person! Walk the 2 extra steps!!!!!” the note read.
Cook was shocked by the anger that spewed from the note, believing that if the author was privy to Lucy’s everyday struggles, she would have thought twice before casting judgment.
“I was actually expecting it to be a nice note because, usually, people are pretty kind,” Cook said. “It was a little bit shocking. Totally caught me off guard.”
Cook shared the note on a local Facebook page, reminding her neighbors to give one another the benefit of the doubt.
“I wish this person could see how much physical exertion it takes both me and Lucy to do the things that the author likely does effortlessly with her own family,” Cook wrote.
So far, nobody knows who wrote the mean note, but Cook is hopeful that this painful situation can be used for good.
When we speak, we reveal the condition of our heart, for better or for worse. In this case, the note’s author revealed plenty about the stored up bitterness and anger inside her heart, bitterness that came spewing in a hastily-written note toward a family she had never even met.
But Cook is not angry, rather, she just wants people to learn to be kind to one another.
“We all just need a little more empathy, and I think that’s what we should be teaching our kids,” Cook said.
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