November 3, 2015
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This world is a horrible place. There are environmental catastrophes, threats of international terrorism, dangers in the streets. The danger of religious persecution threatens us even here in North America. There is sexual exploitation of women and children. There is abuse of power by those in positions of trust: police officers, preachers, teachers and parents. There are dangers on the internet. It seems that you can’t trust anyone anymore.
Um . . . let’s back up a little bit here and see if we’re getting the whole picture. Yes, all these things are going on; and yes, these are the things the media wants to tell us about. But is that really what most of us are experiencing in our daily life?
My grandchildren are blissfully unaware of any threats to their well-being. I am not experiencing any harassment because of my religious beliefs. I encounter friendly and helpful people wherever I go.
I started using a cane about six weeks ago and I am amazed how that triggers acts of kindness from others. I have even had young ladies hold a door open for me. A few days ago I bought my fast food lunch at Tim Horton’s and the lady behind the counter offered to carry my tray to a table. I declined, but not without a hearty thank you. Someday I may need her assistance.
Today I was in my favourite coffee shop – the one where the young ladies behind the counter don’t need to be told that I want a cappuccino with amaretto syrup. This time I asked the young lady who served me if she had ever heard an old, old song that has her name in the title. Her response floored me: “You remembered my name!” I have known her name for a long time, she has served my coffee countless times, we have talked about other things than coffee, but I had never called her by name. This is something I have encouraged others to do, and here I wasn’t even doing it myself.
That seems such a small thing, but it was a reality check. When I begin thinking that the world is such a cold heartless place, perhaps the first question I need to ask is “Am I the problem?”
By the way, she was all too familiar with the song. Her music teacher used to sing it every time she went for a lesson.