Pondering again


My little boy has started saying he hates me when he doesn’t get his own way.  He doesn’t mean it but it still hurts.  In our house as a child, I was always encouraged not to use the word “hate” in reference to how I felt about people.  My lovely mum always used to say that the word was a very strong one and shouldn’t be used so readily. 

I can honestly say that I can’t think of anyone that I hate.  I dislike some people and I detest some of their actions but I don’t have hatred for anyone.  I hate the atrocities that occur across the globe; I hate selfishness and greed; I hate many human activities; I hate that in this century of enlightenment and technological advancement, people still suffer from poverty, tyranny, perversion, injustice and oppression.  I get passionate about stuff.  But I’ve no hatred for anyone.

In terms of the closer, more personal picture, I just don’t get why people, individually, are nasty to each other.  Sounds immature and naive of me but I just don’t understand why people are mean and bitchy, vindictive and hateful.  What’s the point?  This is why, when I witness a kind act by someone, the smallest of things, it touches me, lifts my heart a bit and I can’t wait to tell someone about it.  Perhaps it’s because there are so many downright vindictive people out there who fail to look for the good in someone, who pre-judge a person.  Decision made about that persons character – end of story!  Without any thought given to circumstance or predicament.  

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I was served the other day at my local supermarket by a lovely, kind Asian man who helped me pack all my goods and was really friendly and cheerful.  I went straight to the manager to tell him my thoughts about this pleasant and helpful check-out guy.  We’re quick to complain when things are wrong but not so quick to say anything positive when everything is ok. 

So when the check-out people greet you at the till and flash their PR-trained smile at you; when their bright and cheery and much repeated chatter is intensifying your black mood and you just want to tell them to shut up and get on with it, just bear a thought that you are probably the 46th customer to pass through their check-out, that their jaws are probably aching from the forced smiling and chatter, their mouth is probably dry, they’re probably starving from looking at all the goodies passing through, and they are probably just as fed up as you.  So take a deep breath…force that smile upon your face and BE NICE.  It won’t kill you.  In fact, it will probably have an uplifting effect on your day.

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I received one of those emails the other day – one of the circulatory ones that you have to send on to twenty odd or so friends or bad luck will befall you and all that rubbish.  The email contained a tale about two friends, I’ve no idea how true it was or whether it was a complete work of fiction but the moral of the tale is unchanged whether genuine or not.  I think I deleted the email (without forwarding it so curses be upon me) but the story went something like this…

A teenage schoolboy walking along one day passes a boy he recognises as a new student from his school, a boy who is seen as a bit of a loner…he’s made no friends in the time he has been at the school in spite of efforts to be friendly.  Anyway, I think the new boy drops his books or something and the other boy stops to help him pick them up.  He had seen the new boy around school and had felt a bit sorry for him. He invites him to hang out with his group of mates and as time goes on, they become very good friends.  The years go by and they eventually graduate.  The “new” boy does really well academically and shows a promising future.  At his graduation ceremony speech, he tells the story of the day he met this best friend of his (who is sat with the guests listening) and he reveals that the day he met this friend – this stranger who felt sorry for him and stopped to help him pick up his books  –  was the day he had planned to kill himself.

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