I'm arriving a bit late to the discussion and I apologize for only now responding to a first-page post in a three-page thread, but...
I liked this story. And I can see how the father's actions prompted the desired response in his own child. But I have to wonder if this example of non-confrontation really pertains to many of the people we interact with in real life. The child clearly was well-raised - after all, he conjured up enough empathy to recognize that he should trail behind his father at a walking pace for 18 miles.
Many of the people we deal with on a daily basis would have gotten embarrassed, then angry, and then driven off at full speed. Then they would have obstinately refused to go through the self-examination required for the father's admirable action to have its desired effect. And they would behave this way exactly because they themselves are accustomed to confrontation.
So what do we do about them?
Oh, and so that my first real post to Tao Bums isn't completely off-topic, I'm going to toss my vote in for the Three Treasures: