In November, Talk It Up TV had the opportunity to get to know Ellie Walton. Ellie is an incredibly inspiring little girl. She was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Infantile Ganglioglioma/Astrocytoma just months into her life. Her diagnosis has resulted in chemo, radiation, and 17 surgeries. Ellie is a fighter, and she continues to teach us important life lessons.
Earlier this month Ellie and her family had an upsetting experience that they posted about on their Facebook page.
This is part of that Facebook post:
Not even two minutes into walking into Walmart, Ellie breaks down. The lights were hurting her eyes, and I forgot her sun glasses (because it’s raining outside)! So I covered her head with my jacket, which normally works great, but I forgot that this jacket “feels icky.”
A woman in her late (I’m guessing) 20’s, stopped to make sure I knew how much my crying child was affecting her shopping trip. You see this woman went on to tell me how awful of a mother I am. “Shouldn’t you be taking care of her?” “Take her out of the store!” “I mean what kind of stupid do you have to be to see that your child needs a beating?” “Why the hell would you cut her hair like that?” “You shouldn’t be allowed to have children!”
I was shocked, and in the midst of my silence my six year old spoke up. “She has cancer! Her medicine made her hair like that! Sometimes she does this and we just have to hold her hand!” I have never been prouder, a six year old behaving better than a twenty year old, a six year old standing taller, with more grace, and more compassion than this ignorant woman could ever know!
That experience resulted in a this short video:
“What makes a person pretty,” Ellie’s mother asked.
Her daughter’s response: “How they are in life… Are they good to people?”
Life lessons don’t always come in the most pleasant of circumstances, but learning from the worst of experiences is something that strong people do. We were very saddened to read about the experience Ellie and her family had at what should have been a quick and harmless trip to Walmart. Instead, it was turned into a confrontation by a young woman who was judgmental, impolite, and mean-spirited. We saw this as an opportunity to talk about one of the most important things you can ever be in life: kind.
It can be disheartening to live in a world where a 6-year-old child can have more grace, compassion, and elegance than a grown woman. It can be easy to lash out at people we view as mean and ignorant, but that solves nothing. So before we lash out, it’s important to remember a few things. We don’t know what that person is going through or what kind of pain they have, or are, enduring. And we don’t know if they were ever taught any better, or even if they had someone around to teach them. There’s no way to know a stranger’s life story or what makes some people act the way they do. However, we can choose to stand tall. We can choose to take the higher road. And maybe one day they’ll think back to the time someone offered kindness and grace when all they offered was harsh words.
Maybe that’s enough to spark a change.
So lend a helping hand when you see someone in need. Empower others. Offer words of compassion. Rise above. Most importantly, don’t let someone who hurts you turn you into anything other than your best self. And before you judge, before you look down on someone, and before you speak…
Would you like to share a positive message with Ellie and her family? Comment below!