Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Kindness of Strangers

I must admit that I often moan about small things and forget all the really nice things.  I love living here in Ireland by the sea and wouldn't want to change it for all the sand in Malibu.  Occasionally though I get irked by the slow pace of life, the feeling that God made time and plenty of it so what's the mad rush.

This week my apartment was in darkness.  All the electric fuses tripped.  I am actually house sitting some distance away so I was not even at home when this happened.  Electrical faults terrify me. I know nothing about electricity.  If I press a switch I expect a light to come on or the washing machine to spring into action.  When things fuse I am left with the panicky feeling that something sinister has happened. I have visions of zigzags of lightning lurking behind every plug waiting to pounce.

So I was panicked.  The electricity supplier hot line told me what I should do and said if that didn't work I should get an electrician to look at the problem because as far as they could see there was no fault on their side of things. I flicked those switches very gingerly, half afraid something would spark but nothing happened, I mean nothing at all.   No power.  Zilch.   In the meantime I had to pop down to the community development centre where I do some voluntary work and lost no time in telling all and sundry my tale of woe.  One of the caretakers listened to my garbled version of events and assured me he knew someone who'd "fix it".  Within minutes I was talking to this friend of his who arranged to meet me in half an hour to have a look at the problem.  He was as good as his word.  Within minutes of his arrival the electricity supply was back.  I had turned off at the master switch by mistake, he said, while flicking those other switches.  He made it sound as if it was an everyday mistake for which I was very grateful even if I felt a fool.  More important was to find the cause, he said.  Together we checked everything but came up blank.  It could happen again, he said, but now I know what to do.  And with those kind words he left.

I am so grateful to this man who went out of his way to drop by and help a total stranger. Sometimes when all we hear are the bad things, it's good to experience kindness of any sort but the kindness of strangers can often be the most touching.  

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