Everyone goes through rough patches in life, when things just keep piling up until you can’t take it anymore. Sometimes, in the midst of these dark times, it seems like things will never get better.
That’s when the kindness of strangers is needed. A little kindness can completely change the direction of a person’s life for the better.
One woman from Providence, Rhode Island has had a really difficult year. No matter how hard she tried, nothing seemed to go her way.
Andrea Rogers had to go to traffic court to dispute multiple tickets. She was visibly nervous as she stepped in front of the judge.
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The honorable Judge Frank Caprio presided over her case. He is known for being the judge in the popular videos Caught In Providence.
He began by telling Rogers that she had five tickets from the years 2004-2006. He dismissed those tickets, and Rogers gratefully admits that she had no idea they even existed.
Judge Caprio then moved on to parking meter tickets that Rogers acquired more recently. When asked to explain why they happened, Rogers’ answer was heartbreaking.
At first she skimmed over the answer, but the judge prompted her to repeat what she’d said. Through tears, she restated those four chilling words: “My son was killed.”
Her son had been killed the previous year by his own uncle. Then the social security office withheld Rogers’ check because her son had an overdue payment.
She was at the social security office to take care of the situation when she received the parking ticket. The whole room was silent as she gave explanations for all of her tickets.
One of the other tickets resulted when she had been in court fighting an eviction. The landlord won the case, so Rogers had to find somewhere else to live in addition to finding the ticket on her windshield when she walked to her car.
“It’s like I can’t win,” said Rogers. Despite her difficult position and the multiple tickets she’d accrued, Rogers maintained a polite dignity and respect throughout the video, only breaking into tears when she had to explain how her son was killed.
She admitted that she didn’t have the hundreds of dollars she needed to pay the fines. Judge Caprio took pity on the tearful woman and asked if Rogers if she could pay just $50.
When Rogers thankfully agreed to the fee and said she had the cash on her to pay, the judge asked how much she would be left with. She told the judge that she would have just $5 left after paying the $50 fine.
The charges were dropped altogether. A crying Rogers couldn’t thank Judge Caprio enough.
It is reassuring to see the compassion that the judge had for the struggling woman. How often do we judge people without taking into account the tangled webs of story hiding behind the brave faces they put on?
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