Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Someone else's story


Last night as dark was falling, we were all confused to hear loud knocks on the door.  I grumped down the stairs in my nightgown with the kids in tow to find a courier, a woman about my age, with a small parcel in my name.

I racked my brains to remember what I'd ordered, and while juggling the parcel and the signing hardware, I said testily, "Bit late to be delivering parcels!"

"Yes, it was my first day," she said.  "It got very busy.  I'm sorry."  And, as she left, "I'm sorry."

There is always another story

A few brief words, in good but not native English, by a woman alone who was still working hard for very little money when I was settling in for the night with my family around me.  My brain is ashamed of my first instincts.  I didn't need to add to that woman's burden.  My attitude didn't help me or her.  So, belatedly:
I'm sorry.
Could we remember the other person's story before they have to tell it?

If we gift everybody with the benefit of the doubt, we gift ourselves with calm and peace.


  1. Top marks for honesty, Jess! I had a humbling moment yesterday too. I doubled back on my run to pick up a sick young hedgehog I'd seen by the footpath, lying on its side. It wasn't there any more - my first thought was that a dog had got it, my second thought was that some horrible person must've picked it up and kicked it across the road, and my third thought, very belatedly.... was that I'm not the only nice person in our neighbourhood and someone else had rescued it! Oh, the arrogance!

  2. Hi Alice, thanks for sharing your story too!

    I wish I could reach a place where my first thoughts were my best ones (or even learn to keep my mouth shut until I have a few more thoughts).

    Onward and upward...