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Sunday 1 September 2013
But..but..but 2 - 3am ramblings
Thought for the day from Selina:
"Fergal Keane: ‘I have no doubt kindness is the greatest virtue. You can find a million reasons in any one day to dislike people, to feel resentment or even loathing. But to be kind is to protect yourself from the worst parts of your own nature.’
I like to think I am a kind person. I was bought up with a shed load of rules about manners and put other people first and showing consideration. I am the sort of person who helps people on and off trains, gives up seat to pregnant people, buys presents I cannot afford and puts myself out to be there when people are in trouble. I am a human box of tissues.
But I am not a saint. I grew up in a cruel house, in a crueller time. I learnt prejudice and self-justification at an early age, sitting uneasily alongside stories of Jesus' goodness and Christian principles. It was a world that still makes no sense to me.
I have dark thoughts. There are people who I just cannot even make the effort to smile at, let alone cross the street to see. I try to time my visit to the supermarket so that I will miss the lady who sells the Big Issue, because she makes me feel guilty. I resent things that I felt HWISO has spent lots of money on in the past 20 years, which he has enjoyed and I have tolerated and there are a couple of people who I wish dead on an almost daily basis. I have said and done unkind and untrue things out of irritation, irrationality and anxiety and have consequently spread rumours and gossip that were unfair and untrue. I once hit Happy (see below) with a stick and he yelped - I want to say it was for his own good and it probably was, but I cannot remember the circumstances but am still shamed and slightly nauseous about the incident.
(Happy Bevan, left, and his brother, Jet Bevan, aged 12)
As I come nearer to the end of my life, should I be expunging this "negative" stuff from my life? Should I just go to the supermarket when I feel like and walk past the Big Issue seller, not stop and buy yet another magazine for recycling, ask about her baby and smile? Should I make one last effort with those people who I avoid, because they might, just might, have a redeeming feature? Should I stop making imaginary voodoo dolls? Should I own up to the unkind, irrational things I have said and done? (Please note: it does help to make amends - I spent the next 10 years over-loving Happy and he never complained once!)