There once was a little girl. Her name was Sophichkin.
One sunny morning she went for a walk downtown with her daddy. There were people of all sorts walking to and fro, here and there. Sophichkin liked walking in the sun with her daddy, and especially enjoyed looking at all the people going about their day.
She saw men people and women people, young people and old people.
She saw tall people and short people, big people and small people.
She saw happy people and sad people, rich people and poor people.
She saw brown people, yellow people, white people and red people.
One sad old man was sitting on the sidewalk with an empty hat on the ground in front of him. He held his hand out as Sophichkin passed and said “My joints ache, my tummy is empty, my shoes have holes and my dog ran away. Can you please spare a quarter so I can get a bite to eat?”
Sophichkin felt very bad for the poor man, but she had no money and had already eaten her snack. She shook her head and kept walking.
One short, young woman hustled by Sophichkin and her daddy. The woman was not watching where she was going, but walked very rapidly. She talked loudly into her phone, speaking very quickly.
“Yes, dear. Of course, dear. I know, dear. I’m so busy, dear. No time for that, dear. Now if you’d only sign those papers, dear…”
Sophichkin didn’t have a pen or any papers to sign for the woman, so she look ahead and kept walking.
One big man with a purple face yelled angrily at a much smaller man who was turning a pale shade of yellow. He shouted “You should have watched where you were going! Why don’t you think when you’re talking? Do you think you own the sidewalk? I’ve got very important places to be! Don’t get in my way again!”
Sophichkin wondered where the angry purple man was going in such a rush, but she dared not ask. She kept her head down and kept walking.
A short time later, Sophichkin realized that she was quite confused by the words all the different people had used. Some spoke their words sadly, some spoke their words very quickly, and some shouted them for all to hear. She knew that asking for help was the best thing to do when she was confused.
“Daddy,” Sophichkin asked, “why do people use words the way that they do?”
His daddy looked at her and asked “What do you mean?”
“Well, all those people used a lot of different words and a lot of different voices to say them. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if they just said ‘Help me, please?’”
They both shrugged and kept walking.