This week, as always, we have watched and read of reports of unpleasant events and incidents – economic crises, government morality, crime and also natural disasters. Many of us go through a range of emotions ranging from shock and horror to disgust and despair. Yet amidst these situations, I would like to tell of a small incident that occurred yesterday. I hope it does not appear too sentimental as it is, just facts.
In my neighbourhood (as many others) we have been experiencing a particularly bad spate of inappropriate behaviour by youths and younger children. We are, however, “lucky” that we are surrounded by fields and countryside, where people are able to walk their dogs. As I was doing this yesterday, I realised that I had lost a fob from my keyring – not valuable but a personal momento. I began looking back along the way I’d walked, not expecting to find it in the long grass and mud.
A group of young people shouted across to me “What you lost?” I shouted back and they came over to me and started to help me search. After a few minutes, I said that it didn’t matter, we weren’t going to find it.. One lad said “It’s ok – we aren’t doing anything anyway”, so I said (half jokingly) that if they had nothing much to do, why not pick up a few of the plastic bottles lying around and get the blue bags that have been caught in the trees?
This idea amused them at first, then one asked his friends. “Shall we? They ran off, bending to pick up the bottles that either they or their mates had discarded the night before.
Serendipity - the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.
Perhaps today I will again be insensed by the destructive fires that these youths set, the pointless litter throwing and bottle smashing. But yesterday, for a while, I saw the better side of their nature.
And it doesn’t half gladden the heart.