Thursday, September 8, 2016

CNN: Kindness should be planned, not random

CNN) Last week, Travis Rudolph, a star wide receiver for the Florida State football team, visited a school in Tallahassee. He noticed a sixth grader sitting by himself at lunch, asked if he could join, then sat down. The boy, Bo Paske, has autism. According to his mother, he usually eats alone. Someone took a picture, his mother shared it on Facebook, and wrote, "This is one day I didn't have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes."
The image went viral on social media, sparking countless media outlets (including CNN) to cover the feel-good story about Rudolph's "random act of kindness." TV interviews followed. Rudolph has since invited Bo and his family to Monday's game and gave Bo a jersey. Hopefully their relationship will continue.
Rudolph seems like a good guy. As the father of a child with a disability, I'm empathetic to the mom's feeling of joy. The media, however, in gushing about the athlete's good deed, has failed Bo Paske and disabled children and adults who experience pervasive social isolation...

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