Monday, 12 September 2011
There's Still Hope In Humanity But ...
The press make it worse by putting an even gloomier slant, even on happy and good stories, usually by adding the word 'but'. 'Manchester United won the match but they could have played better.' 'So and so raised £X thousand, but it could have been £XX thousand if the hurricane had not intervened'. 'The restaurant gave a delicious dinner but there wasn't any tomato ketchup'. And so on and so on ... you get my drift.
It is hard, when this negativity is all around you, not to get sucked in and adhere to the old proverb ... if you can't beat them, join them. I try not to. I tell myself and my friends ... 'it could be worse' or 'look on the bright side' or 'perfect'. It has the effect of pulling myself and others momentarily away from the mire with a brief smile or a laugh, before they deem me to be profoundly irritating and we all head back from whence we came.
So imagine the consternation the other day when a friend from 'across the pond' lost her wallet somewhere in a city centre. The fun day we were having was turned upside down. The atmosphere blackened and the winds of anger, fear and self-blame weighed heavily in the air.
Having retraced our steps without success, asking every shopkeeper, tour guide and publican along the way, there was no sign of the purse. Gloom became gloomier as the realisation of what was in it - which amounted to a substantial amount and would take many calls and time to cancel items such as credit cards. It is everyone's worst nightmare. The only thing left to do, was to go to the Police Station and report the loss or theft. Then at least, life becomes easier with insurance companies when you furnish them with a crime number.
And that was the last we all expected to see or hear of the wallet. And if we did, it would be dragged soaking out of a shrub, minus its contents. My friends flew home.
Two days later they were woken at 6am by an international call.
'Is that Mrs Irma Fozzpitt?' said the gentle tones from somewhere in the North East of England.
'I've found yer wallet. It had fallen down the Coke cans in my sweetie shop.'
The lady had found it, seen that it belonged to someone in North America and had set her daughter onto the computer with the task of tracking her down. A phone number was found and the lady rang. The contents of the wallet were intact. All was well.
Doesn't it give great hope to know that the country still possesses unselfish and honest souls like this lady ... and plenty of them, hidden behind the aggression, cynicism and general bad news we hear everyday? If this story makes the news, expect to read: 'a kind lady found and returned a wallet but....'