It is admirable when someone goes the extra mile to support a best friend or family member in times of trouble. Sometimes, however, an act of support can be misunderstood by the people around us. Take, for instance, Jackson Johnston, a sixth-grade boy who shows his support for his grandfather in a very selfless way.
One evening, Jackson learns that his beloved grandpa has been diagnosed with cancer. Everyone is devastated, to say the least. Jackson rallies, almost immediately, and rushes out of the room and returns shortly with a pair of hair clippers. Jackson asks his mother to shave his head so he can look like his grandpa during his fight with cancer. Everyone in the family is touched, and soon Jackson is bald and beautiful.
The next day, Jackson heads off to school, eager to debut his new look. When he arrives, however, Jackson's classmates are less-than-thrilled at the sight of his bald head. In fact, they are down-right mean and start bullying Jackson. The boy is heartbroken at this less-than-cordial reception, especially since the reason behind his new look is so personal to him.
The principal of the school sees how Jackson is being treated and calls the young boy into his office. The principal talks with Jackson and finds out why the boy shaved his head in the first place. The principal is so touched by Jackson's act of support that he decides to show his support for Jackson's grandpa as well. The principal calls for the entire school to meet him in the hallway for a special assembly.
Once the school is assembled, the principal places a stool in the middle of the hallway, gives Jackson a pair of hair clippers, then asks Jackson to shave his head as well. Everyone watches in awe as the young boy turns on the clippers and gives his principal a proper haircut. When the shearing is finished, the principal stands up and shows off his newly-bald head to the school, and everyone cheers.
The principal then calls for silence and tells the students why Jackson shaved his head in the first place. Everyone is silent, and the principal encourages them all to think before they speak from now on. "Think about what you say before you say it. Just because someone's life looks good on the outside, they may be broken on the inside." The students learn a valuable lesson that day, and Jackson goes home, knowing that his classmates won't bully him anymore, thanks to his principal’s kind gesture. Jackson's act of support inspired his principal. Jackson and his principal have inspired us to take the time to listen to another person's story.