For most of us, a trip to the airport is a good reminder of everything wrong with the world. Long lines, expensive food, and grumpy passengers all combine to make an atmosphere pretty much guaranteed to ruin your day.
But author and public speaker Kevin Armentrout’s recent stop at the airport with his 16-month-old toddler proved to be memorable for a few good reasons.
First, his daughter Carter Jean made a new and unlikely friend: a sales manager from Oklahoma named Joseph Wright.
Second, Wright’s sweet interaction with his daughter inspired Armentrout to share an important life lesson with his followers.
Here’s how Armentrout told the story on his Facebook page:
“Last night, while waiting to board our plane, [Carter Jean] was being her usual inquisitive self wanting to meet and say ‘hi’ to everyone she could, until she walked up on this man,” he wrote.
He reached out and asked if she wanted to sit with him. He pulled out his tablet and showed her how to draw with it, they watched cartoons together, and she offered him snacks. This wasn’t a short little exchange, this was 45 minutes. Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her.
While America can feel more divided than ever these days, Armentrout reminded his readers that moments like this capture “what kindness and compassion look like.”
He also thanked Wright, and asked him to “continue to shine your light in the world.”
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Armentrout revealed that Wright watched Charlie Brown and shared cheese puffs with his little girl, and didn’t even blink when she turned fussy.
“There were a few moments she screamed and tried to get into his work calendar, but he couldn’t care less,” he said.
Incredibly, Armentrout’s post did manage to reach Wright’s friends, who said that his special moment with Carter Jean was totally in character.
“I can tell you he is indeed a great man and he is awesome with kids of all ages!” one wrote.
“I first met [Wright] in school in 1976,” said another, “this is exactly how he was then and throughout our years in school…beautiful human being then and now.”
Armentrout’s post has been liked more than 180,000 times, and shared more than 70,000 times, so it’s obvious that we all could use a happy moment like this in our lives.