To my shame, I have been a bit grumpy this past week. Things have annoyed, offended, irritated me. Not just once, but several times, different incidents, same reaction. I have felt hard done by, unfairly treated, disrespected, misunderstood. People haven’t reacted how I wished they would, I haven’t had my own way, my toys were unceremoniously thrown. A cactus.
Today I remembered a tale that Lady Mantle had told me earlier in the week.
Last weekend they were travelling north to attend her Mother’s funeral. The snow had melted just enough, the farmer having ploughed the rest, to let them escape. The drifts had been a worrying obstacle atop of sorrow. On the journey they stopped off at Cribbs for a break. When they returned to the car and attempted to continue on their way, the car had other thoughts. “What a nightmare” I said. “Well yes” she replied “but as we were waiting for the rescue vehicle we noticed a woman nearby crying, it seems she was in the same situation as us.” But not quite. Her Lovely Ladyship approached the distressed woman, offering help. The headscarf gave it away. It transpires that she was on her way to her next chemotherapy session, had popped to the shops for a moment and on returning her car wouldn’t start. When the Mantles’ help arrived they asked if there was anything he could do to help her, and he did as much as he could.
What I so desperately needed pointing out to me, over the last few days, is that there is always someone worse off than yourself, kindness is as precious as riches and there is much goodness in the world.
Shame on me.