Here in Portland, the newspaper today published an account of a 30-year old man sexually abusing his 6-year old daughter in public, in a movie theater. A 14-year old high school student enlisted the help of another woman in the theater, her daughter and the manager, to call 9-1-1 and have him arrested. Security cameras showed him touching her inappropriately, and the world has another registered-sex-offender for life and a little girl taken into protective custody.
You can read the article here.
It's hard to pull a Good Thing Friday out of a story like that, but as the comments on the story show, everyone agrees that 14-year old Nichelle McKinney is quite a young woman. She saw something wrong; she sat near the man to confirm what was going on; enlisted extra help; was ready to take his license plate down should he leave. At 14, that level of confidence and ability to take action are commendable.
It isn't a gray situation of course - what she saw was disturbing. (Read: this isn't a parent yelling in a grocery store or giving a light spank; situations where maybe one should speak up and maybe one should shut up. This one was extreme.) But how many people would convince themselves they weren't seeing it? I can admit I'm not sure what I would have done. That sort of blatant abuse in the open... it's shocking, it makes you want to turn away, and Nichelle moved from being shocked to helping very quickly.
So, like all the commenters at the Oregonian, I applaud Nichelle. And I think of times I should have, or should in the future, remember that tattling can be a good thing. Sometimes, someone has to stand up - in school, at the store, in the office, at the park. Has it ever been you? I'd like to hear about it. And have a happy, authentic, aware Friday - in thanks for Nichelle.