Lovely to have been asked to contribute to the acts of kindness blog day. I know that one is doing it in an altruistic manner but nevertheless it is nice to see one's selflessness being rewarded. So, as we stand on the cusp of yet another glutinous shopping season it is perhaps a good time to not only think of those less fortunate than ourselves, but also have a recap of how last years resolutions have paned out.
Last New Year I made a promise to myself that I would not knowingly pass a single street beggar without dropping a little something into the raggedy beret, or rusting tin can acting as their self serving collection plate. This lasted but a short while before I was having to take quite drastic steps to avoid our doorway dwelling dosh demanders; you see the problem is, I don’t really carry cash, and after the first pavement er, person er, pedantically refused my offer of a credit note I decided to instead only reward buskers, who are at least providing a service, even if it is one we can on the whole do without. And shortly after this I gave up.
Well maybe gave up is the wrong term, more a case of changing the goal posts. Why, one time in Worcester I had to take what was probably a four hundred yard diversion in order to get back to my car, making me late to collect the kids from the Grammar school. As recently as September, and in Redditch’s palm fringed shopping mall I found myself fenced in, all exits being blocked – I tried to cut through a well known stationers but to no avail. I was loaded down with shopping and in the end opted for a copy of the Economist, three Viennese coffee's and slugged it out whilst waiting for the coast to clear. Nowadays I have to drive out of town and buy groceries at small, expensive, village stores as I quite simply refuse to shop ‘n’ drop, plus it's important to have principles, right!
Friends talk about karma and they are right. All the extra walking to avoid our whiskered and shellsuited friends meant I was in supa-dupa tip top shape by the time our second beach holiday of the year rolled around. Result, yay!
But I have learned a valuable lesson, namely that we are not so different and possibly have a lot more in common than you might at first realise. Firstly we are cash poor and secondly we are time rich. We just choose to spend it differently that’s all.
(Scot has donated his fee from this piece to a well known coffee franchise to help support their UK tax obligations)