Boy With Autism Walks Into Restaurant to Pick Up a Menu – When He Doesn’t Come Back, His Dad Finds Out What’s Going On
A restaurant owner inspires thousands of others to lead with kindness.
Compassion and kindness can mean a lot in life, especially to someone who may be facing things we don’t know about. One small act can be uplifting and inspiring, not to mention meaningful to the person on the receiving end of that act.
That’s why one mother had to share an amazing story about her son who has autism and the kind restaurant worker who decided to give him a free meal one day.
Practicing a Big Life Step
One day, Pat Long was coaching his son, Owen Block, to ask for a takeout menu at Sun Restaurant in Williamsville, New York. They practiced several times in the car, and then the father sent his son in solo to try and complete the task. But then he didn’t come back out, and the father grew concerned.
“My husband is waiting… and waiting… and waiting…,” recalled Owen’s mom, Sandra Block, in a Facebook post. “So he finally decides to see what’s going on. What’s going on is that my son is at a table, eating.”
According to Sandra, Owen had gone inside and asked for a take-out menu. But he also told the hostess he was hungry.
Feeding Someone in Need
The hostess was Aye Thein, the Sun Restaurant partner and manager. She didn’t know Owen had autism; she just saw a guy who was hungry and needed a meal.
“So she sat him down and asked what he wanted to eat, and he answered: ‘beef,’” Sandra continued. “She told her cooks, ‘Hurry, this boy is very hungry,’ and made him a beef curry with rice. She said that he was so sweet she was planning on letting him eat for free.”
“That is just so uncommonly kind. Like how often can you imagine someone — I’m going to cry thinking about it! That’s just so awesome to me,” the mother told the outlet, tearing up.
Spreading the Word… and Kindness
Sandra’s post quickly went viral on social media, with thousands liking and sharing the sweet story. Several news outlets also picked it up and helped to further spread this story of a sweet gesture that reminded two parents there are kind and thoughtful people out there in the world.
According to Thein, she practices something called “metta.” The Burmese-Buddhist practice is about living with a lack of ill-will and serves as a spiritual antidote to things like fear and hatred.
“Metta means loving and kindness to everybody,” Thein explained to the news outlet.
Leading With Kindness
As a parent who spent all of her son’s life worrying about him and his autism, Sandra was incredibly moved by one kind gesture. She wasn’t the only one, which is why this tale of kindness has traveled so far and wide.
It’s a really nice reminder for all of us to lead with kindness in our own lives and to stop and look at any given situation with a full heart rather than one clouded by all of the things we have going on in our own daily grinds.
We may not be able to offer free meals to everyone, but we can certainly offer free smiles, kind words of encouragement, or greetings in which we genuinely want to know how the other person is doing.
Leading with kindness and grace in any situation is always a happier and healthier way to live and can inspire others to do the same. And, as it turns out, it can also be the thing that unknowingly makes or breaks someone else’s day.
More from Goalcast:
- Autistic Teen Bullied and Beaten by Peers — So a Group of Strangers Gave Him a “Dream Day” He’d Never Forget