When this mom mocks a dirty man at the store, his response teachers her a valuable lesson about why you should never judge a book by its cover.
Andy Ross is a hardworking family man from Vancouver, Washington. He popped into the store on his way home from work one day and found a little girl staring at him.
“Which is fine. I know that kids are curious when they see someone, especially as dirty as I was,” Andy said as he recalled the incident in a social media post gone viral.
The mom and daughter wound up ahead of Andy in line and the mom fussed at her daughter for openly staring.
But Andy didn’t mind the staring. It’s what the girl’s mom whispered about the ‘dirty man’ on their way out that upset him.
“As they finished and headed towards the door, I hear her mom say quietly to the little girl, ‘that is why you need to stay in school.’"
‘Dirty Man’ Replies With Valuable Lesson
It likely wasn’t mom’s intention to be offensive. This mother and daughter didn’t know anything about Andy Ross. But her comment came from assumptions made based solely on Andy’s appearance.
So, Andy decided to take the opportunity to enlighten this woman and her 7 to 8-year-old daughter.
"First, I happen to be a very educated dirty man. I not only have a high school diploma, I also have a college degree and many medical certifications” Andy said. “So assuming that I am uneducated because of my appearance is actually quite ignorant in itself."
Andy continued on, "Secondly, if you are telling your daughter to stay in school because I have tattoos up and down my arms, that will actually suppress her creativity and potentially hinder her imagination as she develops.”
“Again, contradictory to your point ma'am. I am proud of my tattoos and artwork that Forrest Bateman put on my body. It's a representation of my pride in my country and my service over multiple combat tours as a special operations medic."
Different Strokes For Different Folks
The mom seemed to assume that Andy worked construction, a perfectly respectable profession, out of necessity rather than choice. But what she didn’t know was Andy co-owns an outdoors company which educates participants in how to live, hunt, and survive in the wilderness.
"Finally, I chose to work in a construction industry. I am proud to say that I am apart of building America and I enjoy my job every day.”
Andy went on to say, "I tried working a desk job when I got out of the service and it wasn't for me. I enjoy working with my hands and being outdoors."
"Subsequently, it comes with being dirty some days,” the ‘dirty man’ explained. “I make good money, have benefits, and am able to provide for my family without issue. So my appearance reflects nothing to do with my level of intelligence or pursuing a higher level of education."
Andy’s response is a brilliant reminder of why you should never judge a book by its cover. And this real-life story also reminds us we never stop learning.
There’s a good chance this woman’s comments didn’t come from a place of intentional cruelty, but rather misguided ignorance. And Andy’s response was the perfect way to kindly and respectfully correct her mistake.
h/t: Little Things
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Andy Ross (Left) / Unsplash/Jesse Orrico (Right)
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