“…was the target of taunts and abuse from passers-by when he went out in public.”
This remark reminded me of a discussion I had with an acquaintance about “evil”.
The acquaintance claimed to have seen evil in people. I pointed out that I don’t believe in evil, but that people are cruel and society has its hand in shaping us the way we grow up and develop.
The above is just a great example of what I mean.
There’s absolutely no reason for someone to go up to the boy and make fun of him, but that individual was just a product of his society and he probably suffered something similar, or he perceived it that way, in the past.
Cruelty begets cruelty. Only the very strong or the irremediable sensitive will be able to walk tall and unscathed. The rest will continue to be cruel.