Being a teenager is a confusing and exciting time. You’re just learning to navigate the world, gaining independence that you didn’t have as a little kid. You have the opportunity to make big life decisions on your own, making mistakes and learning lessons as you go. Sometimes, the teenage years bring some form of rebellion as you begin to explore your newfound freedom. Other times, being a teen means using the lessons you learned throughout your childhood to change the world for the better.
Like many teens, 18-Year-old Teo Jordan from Covington, Kentucky has a part-time job. He’s saving up money to buy a car, so every hour of every shift counts. Recently, Teo reached into his pocket and took out some of his hard-earned money. But he wasn’t about to spend a chunk of his car fund on something frivolous – in fact, he wasn’t even spending the money on himself.
While at Kroger, the grocery store where Jordan works, he heard a cashier tell an elderly customer that he didn’t have enough money to pay for the groceries in his cart. Rather than helping the man put back some of his items, Jordan pulled $35 from his wallet and made sure the customer went home with all the food he needed.
“I just seen I wanted to help the guy,” Jordan told WLWT-TV. “I saw that he didn’t have the money for all the groceries that he wanted. The cashier told him he would have to put some of the thing back so I just thought in my head I would give him this $35 so he could have all the food that he wants.”
The kindness Jordan showed a complete stranger at that moment without hesitation speaks volumes of his character. Though the sole purpose of Jordan’s job is to take home a paycheck, this selfless teen took himself out of the equation when someone else needed the money more.
“Just treat people the way you want to be treated (and) always help out if someone needs it,” Jordan said, a lesson that some people take a lifetime to learn (while others never learn it at all).
Teo Jordan grew up watching the adults around him make choices, and as kids do, he learned from them. Though we can’t make decisions for our kids, we can teach them through doing. They aren’t guaranteed to take everything we say and do to heart, but moments like this remind us that we’re doing something right.
“I am proud of Teo. I’m overwhelmed with joy,” Jordan’s mom, Stephanie Burton said. “You try to instill in your kids right and wrong but you don’t know if they comprehend, so yes I’m very proud.”