Unbearably Light
I do not think that word means what you think it means.

On how I learned how to reject cynicism and reconnect with humanity

So I was trundling home from work a few months ago in what could be described as the depths of despair, if I was a melodramatic character in a bad novel. It was pissing rain which was an appropriate background to a day that contributed to my handing in my notice whilst restraining my glee the other day. I am not willing to take off my Clark Kent glasses of identity, but suffice to say I work in the middle of nowhere, and the road from nowhere is long and has no shelter. So there I was, Missus Misery, when a car suddenly stopped beside me and the woman inside called me over. I presumed (since we are in Ireland which is actually a giant maze built by God to punish us) that she was looking for directions out of this hellhole, but she didn’t say a word. She reached into the back seat and suddenly I was holding a big blue umbrella with a mixture of shock and awe on my face. She drove off before I could even begin to react.

Such a simple gesture, but it went straight into my bag of coping mechanisms for when I feel like telling the world to fuck off. One little act of kindness affected more than my level of comfort that day as I walked home in the rain. Suddenly the world seemed like somewhere I didn’t want to check out of. I used to be the kind of person who always looked for the best in people, but after a few months of repeated disappointment I was pretty low. I’m not going to pretend that everything was suddenly magically fixed – life is thankfully not as simple as that – but I went home with a smile on my face, made myself a proper dinner instead of surviving on cups of coffee, and got a great night’s sleep. Small successes yes, but when you’re living your life day to day, they are the little hills that seem like mountains.

It’s amazing how many times I have thought of that woman (most recently today when kottke pointed me to a similar story that will make you smile) and hoped that somehow karma is real and someone magically appears to put a smile on her face when she is in need of it most.

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3 Responses to “On how I learned how to reject cynicism and reconnect with humanity”

  1. i love this story. you evoked really beautiful imagery with your words… you’re a bad ass mo fo.

  2. right back atcha dude.

    we should probably rule the world.

  3. 🙂


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