So I was in the queue waiting to pay for my petrol, when the lady behind (well, kind of in my space beside) changed from talking to herself to talking to me. Sadly, she was clearly under the influence of something, and although it took me back to my Govan days working with recovering addicts, I wasn’t feeling very comfortable (my fault, not hers).
When I got home, I couldn’t find my phone. I’m deeply ashamed to say my first thought was that the lady had taken advantage of my unzipped bag, and had stolen it. Wrong. As I held my landline, having dialled the moblie number, the sound of it ringing nearby mocked my prejudice.
I love to think I’m very tolerant and friendly, but clearly, it’s only skin-deep.
I realised then, that a traumatic experience getting my credit card stolen in France has hardened me. I was naive then, and that was exploited. The lady today was just lonely, and worried about her money. She needed someone to listen to her, and show her she mattered. Not nod, smile and misjudge.
How many experiences do we have that hurt us, close us up, and seal off our kindness?
What kind of bravery do we need to muster, for the sake of the many innocent waiting for our trust?
What would happen if we opened up our personal boundaries a little, and let the strangers in?
I would rather lose a mobile finding that out.