Last September, little Jayden woken up in the middle of the night. The loud hum of the helicopters flying above and the blaring siren noises along the streets startled him from sleep. And as a five-year-old boy, he was terrified at the noises and what they meant. Jayden lives with his mother Deanna Hooker in Charlotte, North Carolina. And the ruckus was caused after the community erupted into riotous rage after the killing of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott. But the boy made it through the night with the support of his adoring mother. But the next day, things changed for Jayden. And that’s how he wound up in the police station.
When Deanna was driving Jayden to school the next morning, a report came in on the radio that said that police officers had been hurt. Jayden’s heart went out to the men and women of Charlotte who were dedicated to protecting him, his mother and his community. Jayden told his mother that he wanted to help the police officers and help make them feel better. That’s why Deanna and Jayden went to the local shop and picked up some doughnuts. Plus, little Jayden made a sign.
With the sign draped around Jayden’s neck, he walked into the local police station. As soon as the officer at the desk saw the little boy, the cop’s heart swelled with pride in the boy and sadness for the injured officers. But Jayden was there to offer some comfort to the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep Charlotte safe.
Little Jayden’s sign read, “Free Hugs.” It was tied around his neck. And he wanted to come to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to put the sign into use to lift the cops’ spirits.
Jayden wasn’t just offering free hugs though, he really wanted to help the officers feel better, especially since some had been injured recently. Officers knelt down so the small Jayden could wrap his loving, little arms around them. And he looked each cop in the eye and told them that he wanted them to feel better and to not be too scared. Although Jayden had never met any of these officers, he felt pride in his community and wanted the cops to feel confident that they were doing good work although it was tough from day to day.
Because Jayden could understand that the police would be sad that their friends and coworkers got hurt, he wanted them to know that at least he was on their side – although the rest of the community seemed to be fighting against them.
Deanna brought her son’s story to the Facebook page called Love What Matters.
We all could be more generous with our empathy and support. People are suffering in many ways around this country. If we took a moment to look at it from their shoes, we could connect and help make the world a better place.
We can’t just leave it to 5-year-olds to show the adults how to be a good human.
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