This Dad Saw His Son With A Homeless Man, But His Spirits Sank When He Learned The Real Situation

When Blanton O’Neal saw his young son with a seemingly homeless man at a gas station, he assumed that the stranger wanted money. However, after talking to his son, he learned the real situation – and it made his stomach sink.

O’Neal lives in South Carolina with his family. He has three young sons, which must keep him very busy. With that in mind, in June 2018, he was responsible for driving his 11-year-old son Sean to a soccer tournament in neighboring North Carolina.

At one point during their road trip, the father-son duo stopped off at a gas station to purchase refreshments. When O’Neal went to pay for some drinks, he gave Sean the keys to his car so that the youngster could wait inside. However, when he returned to the vehicle, the dad came across a sight that worried him.

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Explaining what happened on Facebook, O’Neal wrote, “It took me a little while to check out. As I exited the store, I noticed that Sean’s door [was] open and he was walking away from my car towards a man in a wheelchair.”

O’Neal continued, “He was an older, African American gentleman, with amputated legs and appeared ‘homeless.’ My first reaction, sadly, was, ‘Oh crap! He is hitting Sean up for money and has called him over.’”

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However, it appeared that the protective father had jumped to the completely wrong conclusion. It wasn’t the man who had approached Sean, but the other way around. And the youngster’s motivation was completely honorable.

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O’Neal explained, “As I walked closer Sean had clearly had a short conversation with the man, turned around and headed back to the car. So I did the same. As I entered the car, I asked him what that was all about.”

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It was then that Sean revealed the sweet nature of his exchange with the stranger to his father. Relaying his son’s response, O’Neal wrote, “Nothing Dad. I just was asking if he needed help. He said no thanks, that he was fine but thanked me for asking.”

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Needless to say, O’Neal was proud of his son for displaying such kind qualities. However, he was disappointed in himself for immediately jumping to the conclusion that the man had been harassing Sean. That’s why he decided to share the encounter on social media.

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By recounting the details of his son’s run in with the homeless man, O’Neal initially feared he would be presenting himself in a negative way. However, he decided to share the post anyway in a bid to highlight his own preconceptions and those of others.

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In the Facebook post, O’Neal explained, “I debated making a post of this as it paints a not so flattering picture of me as a person. But I think in the end it is a picture of many of us, if we are truly honest with ourselves.”

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Addressing the prejudices that revealed themselves, O’Neal went on to reveal that he had completely overlooked the man in need. “At first glance I didn’t even notice that the gentleman was attempting to cross a gravel parking lot, full of potholes, in a wheelchair using only his hands,” he wrote.

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However, while the father of three had been wrapped up in his own world – no doubt hoping to get in and out of the gas station as quickly as possible – Sean had picked up on the stranger’s situation. And what’s more, he had decided to help.

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But once again, O’Neal had been paying such little attention to the people around him that he had failed to realize his son’s noble intentions. “I didn’t notice that my 11-year-old child was man enough to see this in the mirror of my car, drop the electronics that he was playing with, get out and offer to help the guy,” he admitted.

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As the father and son were about to leave the gas station, O’Neal asked the man if he needed any money. However, the stranger revealed that Sean’s kind actions had been all the help he required on that occasion.

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Continuing the social media update, O’Neal explained how the man had said, “No thank you, I’m fine. Your son was a real gentleman and gave me all that I needed today. God Bless.” With that, the father and son waved the stranger goodbye and continued on their way.

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After driving off, O’Neal found that he couldn’t get the encounter out of his mind. It seemed it had changed him as a person and by sharing his story the three-time father hoped that others might reconsider their viewpoint as well.

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O’Neil wrote, “I don’t post this looking for any praise for Sean. I post this to expose a real nastiness that we have in our world. We spew such bile and hatred on every news channel, every Facebook post, every tweet.”

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The proud father added, “It’s not a right or left thing. We all do it. We have forgotten to look at the world through the eyes of a child. Sean wasn’t looking for praise for what he did. He didn’t even know that I would see it. He just saw a man that he thought needed help.”

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O’Neal signed his post off by encouraging readers to put some goodness into the world by carrying out small acts of kindness of their own. In short, he hoped that people would take a leaf out of Sean’s book and simply be nice. “I just pray that the world doesn’t change this kid,” the proud father added.

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