real life

Meet the 11-year-old charging for "emotional advice" in a station.

“What are those spots on your face? They look really sore.”

Kids have a way of speaking the truth. Straight to the core of the matter. No regard or concern for how it might feel for the person with the pimples or “spots”. Just a sweet, innocent dedication to speaking the truth.

One 11-year-old, Ciro Ortiz in Brooklyn, USA, is making money with these truths in a New York subway station.

Rather than harsh truth-bombs, he’s offering “emotional advice”. Discussing relationship issues and real life problems. And he’s speaking the truth to strangers who are paying for his help.

Ciro charges $2 for five minutes, and he’s open for business between 12 and 2pm every Sunday. “It’s a good way to give back and make money,” he told The New York Post. 

This Glorious Mess: A podcast about parenting as it really is. Post continues below. 

After being bullied at school, the 11-year-old wants to provide emotional support to people who might be feeling the same anguish. He hates school, and wants to become a video-game developer. He’s excellent at science and English.

His “emotional advice” earnings? Currently he’s making up to $50 every Sunday. Not bad at all.

One couple approached his stand, attracted by the hand-written cardboard sign advertising the price of his services. The husband was frustrated that his wife had become vegan.

“I told him that she didn’t get mad at him for eating meat,” Ciro said. “She likes to eat what she wants, and he likes to eat whatever he wants, so they’re just going to have to deal with it.”

Has a greater truth ever been spoken?

“Ciro is really sensitive and he’s had a hard time,” his mother, Jasmine Aequitas, a 35-year-old poet, also told The New York Post.

“The first day he was out there [on the subway platform, giving counselling], he was very nervous and unsure of himself… A few Sundays later he’s come back saying, ‘I’ve met so many wonderful people. I’m going to end up having so many friends.’ ”

Oh, Ciro. Who wouldn’t want to be your friend?

00:00 / ???