The Kindness of Strangers

I never expected to get old. I never expected to meet myself so stripped bare, so stripped bare of all the things that formerly made up my sense of self. My sex drive, my slim body, my joy in dancing, not so much these days.

I never expected to gain weight and not be able to easily lose it. I never expected to experience pain and feel debilitated for days, cranky and exhausted.
I never expected to look at my face and see almost a stranger, resembling not one member of my family, but then my mother always said she thought I was a changeling.

I never expected to be so inspired by music. I never expected to still be going to massive Indy gigs, like Jack White and Sigur Ros, (Scandinavian super group). I never expected to love opera and getting dressed up. Who’d of thought the hippy would find the sun painful as she aged, yet still retain a love of gardening, Bromeliads are the easiest plants in the multiverse to grow.

These days I walk away from difficult people, so I’m not so irritated by people but I do get more irritated at myself than I ever did. Irritated by my forgetfulness or clumsiness; dropping of a mascara wand, a cup, the soap, a cleaning rag, a pillow case while hanging out the washing and that was only this morning, I’m still in a good mood but only just. On the other hand I have a low, if present at all, tolerance for fools, cruelty, impolite behavour, rude children, rude gestures when I annoy someone on the road.

I never expected to need to feed my soul with trips to the theater, art galleries. I never expected to feel so depressed when I ignore the promptings of my spirit. So what feeds me and gives me a will to live. Creativity, beauty, kindness, genuine intelligence and insight and random acts of kindness.

I had to do a re-certification First Aid course about a month ago. So there I was with a group of strangers sucking a dummy’s face and wondering if the only bit of first aid I have ever had to use would come up in the questions at the end. It didn’t. Once I had to stop a cut from bleeding with pressure, so there you have it. Anyway suffice to say not the most inspiring day and I was glad to get out of there and get on a bus to come home. The bus was filling up and I offered my money to the bus driver, he said in strine, ”It’s pre paid only.” I stood there my mouth slightly open, thwarted in my plans I asked where I could get a ticket. The driver gestured vaguely out of the bus and I sighed and tried to push my way out through the people waiting to get on. A man in a suit, good looking and with a kind face said, “I’ll pay for her.”
“Thank you.” I stammered.
‘’What goes around comes around.” he said smiling.
All the bus passengers were watching and it brought a smile to so many faces and still to this day, every time I get on a bus with my pre paid 10 tickets I think of that act of kindness and smile…

I never expected to love so deeply and for so long this jewel of a planet and its inhabitants, I never expected to become kind but there you have it, the kindness of strangers has the power to inspire love and joy. Keep the kindness, politeness, thoughtfulness flowing and it will be easier and easier to love and inspire love.

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