Can I please?

Yesterday after lunch, while sipping my “café con leche, muy caliente” and thinking about nothing in particular, I saw a family of three come in the restaurant and sit by the window. The 10-year-old child immediately started running around as if he was chasing someone. The father asked him to calm down. The boy actually listened to him, but demanded his toys in return. The answer was “NO”.

The boy started crying. I should say he literally exploded. He jumped and screamed and threw himself to the ground. Father’s reaction was stronger. He got up and put the boy on the seat, sighing continuously during the process. The boy switched to crying silently, making noises, looking at his parents with sorrowful eyes.

Does it really help to cry when you want something? I wonder. Especially for a child? People claim that, if it wasn’t working then they would not do it. I am not sure but there has to be a better way.

Interestingly, most NGOs ask for donations in a similar way. They either show you a crying, desperate child/animal/situation, or a smiling and happy one. Their goal, I guess, is to get the toys they want by appealing to peoples’ emotions.

While doing research for an NGO, I did an experiment which suggested that people actually do not care much for happy or sad pictures when they decide on donations. However, they seem to like when the NGO shows them a picture of a child, an animal or say, a tree being helped. They reward the “action”.

Maybe the boy should have at least pretended to eat his meal. After a few bites a simple statement starting with “please” would probably have gotten him his toys back and he might have actually liked the meal he was chewing.

I must say, the food was delicious.

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