Sometimes I am confused by human nature, but unfortunately I am never surprised.
I think that everyone has a tendency to be selfish, to think only of their needs and wants, but there are people who take it to the extreme. Then there are those who do something unexpectedly wonderful for you and restore your faith in mankind.
We used to run our own company and employed a lot of people. Sadly, because we were company owners, people saw us as rich and lucky. Some were wonderful, but many stole from us, lied, used company property for personal use that wasn’t allowed or made decisions they weren’t qualified to make. The company was a good one and the job we did was rewarding in itself, but employing the type of people we had to, made us very cynical. We became embittered and always stressed. We eventually lived, expecting trouble and tarred everyone with the same brush. We had no faith in humanity because of our experiences.
On the day we flew out to our new life in Spain, My husband lost his wallet in the airport. It fell out of an unsecured pocket. In it was credit and debit cards, €1000 in cash, his driving licence and basically everything we needed for our new lives. I remember the colour of his face draining from normal to green at the second he realised his wallet was missing. He ran back to search everywhere he had been, but to no avail. We had been chatting to an airport cleaner when he made his discovery and as soon as he came back to us, he said, “Well, I’m never going to see that again. I don’t know what we are going to do.” The cleaner immediately grabbed his hand and took him to lost property.
He reached the counter but was told nothing had been handed in, just as he expected. They gave him a form to fill out and whilst doing it, he was thinking about how we could rent a car without his licence and that certain things had been booked using his cards and he would have to present them. We could get money but we needed that cash for payment of bills. He was really worried. Just at that moment, another member of staff approached and asked him if he had lost a wallet. He said that he had and described it. The man said he had it, it had just been handed in. Ian was amazed, happy to at least get his cards and licence back. He utterly stunned when he found that all the money was there too. Nothing had been taken at all. We were so thankful and asked if we could give the wonderful honest person, who had handed it in, some money to say thank you, but we were told it was against policy and they hadn’t left a name.
It was a lesson in humility for us. We were so down on human nature, so suspicious of people and their actions, ready to believe the worst in people, yet here we were, the recipients of a strangers selfless actions. It continues much the same today. We are not so embittered as we once were, maybe still a little suspicious, but we have found some wonderful people around us. Help has often come from unexpected places, and people, who were just acquaintances, have proved to be wonderful friends. Equally, there are people that thought close friends, who have shown themselves to be incapable of true friendship.
As a member of this species, I travel on, observing and learning. We all judge each other according to our own standards and find each other lacking in many areas, but are we qualified to judge other people? One of my favourite phrases is “Walk a mile in my shoes.” We all live such vastly different lives, experienced pain and happiness in individual ways, how can we truly comment on someone else’s lives?