God knows, the world is full of assholes, but most of us are shocked when such blatant asshole-ish-ness is laid to bear. Everyone has been witness to and/or a victim of ignorance and many affected by crime. Even in the past months, a friend’s street was robbed, my purse was stolen from my car, my father had his house egged, and on and on.
There are all sorts of criminals and there are the general, day-to-day assholes, the aggressive drivers who are inexplicably rude; the store clerks who ignore you to the point that you feel like an idiot asking for help. The eye-rollers, the finger-givers, the queue-jumpers, are rampant.
But today, for some reason, I’m feeling positively positive about people. Maybe it’s the lovely weather, or the mini-vacation the family just had at my sister’s cottage, maybe it’s seeing the light at the end of the bathroom reno-tunnel, or perhaps it’s the Portuguese music I’ve been forced to listen to all day courtesy of my builders. I dunno. Either way, I’ve been inspired to see all the gee-gosh-heck good people and appreciate them in a new light.
Let’s start with my contractor, a charming guy with a lovely crew, who, in addition to being quick and professional has both fixed my back fence which partly fell over during a windstorm (“I was worried the dog would escape, so I fixed your fence”) and repaired a few loose tiles on my roof (“there was wood exposed!”), also showed me the 40% contractors discount he got at the tile store. I strongly suspect that most contractors would have pocketed much, if not all of the discount and I wouldn’t have been the wiser.
Then there was the homeless guy I saw walking down the street. When my puppy and I passed, he smiled said “Dogs are like kids, they make you feel important”. His positive outlook despite his outwardly bleak lifestyle was stunning.
Then there’s my friend Karen, who has walked my dog almost every day of the last year, when my daughter’s school run was long and my mother ill in hospital. She’s done so much more, but that, in itself was such a huge kindness I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciated it.
And then, the other day when I was buying my daughter a new swimsuit – the clerk in the store whispered to me that “tomorrow, those are going on sale, half-price” – she didn’t have to tell me, but because she did, I saved $25.00.
Even the guy who let me through go first at the stop sign today put a smile on my face.
These are just a few stories of the past days and there are many more. There are a lot of fantastic people out there. And I think the reason I love doing stand up so much is that, as hard as it is, when you can make an audience laugh, it’s a joyful, honest reaction. And really, the assholes of the world can’t take that away from any of us.