I’m feeling fairly reflective this evening. I’ve been studying Trauma on my course and it makes you realise how fragile life is. Life as you currently know it anyhow. One minute you could be driving along worrying that you are late for work, the next you could be dead, be it from an accident or a brain haemorrhage or a heart attack. It really can be that quick. Alive. Dead.
In the case of a road accident, you could argue that being late was the cause. Because if you were on time something different would have happened maybe, maybe not, but one thing I do know is that life is full of moments which at the time you may not even pay attention to, and yet, with the power of hindsight or to someone else it is huge.
You may not even realise that it happened, there may be someone who is walking around right now, whose life you have massively impacted upon and yet you don’t even know it. The moment was so insignificant to you that you don’t even realise that it happened and yet to the other person it had huge significance, good or bad. Insignificant significances.
There are certainly people in my life who have done this for me, who have shown me an unwarranted, but absolutely needed bit of kindness that has been a turning point in my life. In the very least they have made me think differently about my life.
An example of this was when I was about 22. I was a single parent, who had just got out of a really abusive relationship and was attempting, for the first time, to cope on my own. Oh, and did I mention that I also had a huge heroin addiction? I weighed 6 stone (I’m 170cm tall) and I felt like I was going to die. Not just from the addiction, but just because life was supremely tough. I was living in a bedsit in a women’s refuge, I had no friends and I was also withdrawing.
I’d gone into town to see if I could see anyone to get some gear from or to shoplift to earn some money, but I was having no luck and I wanted to die. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was cold, I hadn’t eaten for 2 days, mostly because I’d forgotten to, but also because I was skint and feeding the baby came first.
And then I saw him approach me. I was standing in the local shopping centre, feeling desperate and instead of avoiding me, he came up to me. He asked if I was ok, and I nodded yes. He asked me if I wanted to sit down on the bench with him for a bit as I looked ill. So I sat down and we chatted for a bit. He asked me when I last ate and I told him I couldn’t remember. He told me to wait there, and he disappeared, only to reappear 3 minutes later with a can of coke and some chocolate for me to eat. Then said he had to go and left.
This good Samaritan significantly changed my life that day. I will never forget him. He showed me a bit of kindness when I desperately needed it. He may have even saved my life. His actions have become something that I have tried to live by; if I can help someone else then I should. It doesn’t take a lot, words of encouragement, a smile, a car of chocolate and a can of coke. All can be insignificant things which change the course of someones
world. Insignificant significances.