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Thread: Restoring faith in humanity

  1. #1
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    Restoring faith in humanity

    Just a little story I thought I would share.

    I work Saturdays in a local charity shop. The side of town is pleasant and friendly, but, as with many northern towns, we have ingrained a deep 'northern charm' background and many of the people are good, solid, working folk.

    In some cases, this can be labelled, rather insensitively, 'working class', by people I tend to associate with, or those not from the area. I often take this judgement as a bit of an insult when I see and talk to people every week, who may not be as affluent or been as lucky with education as I have, but they are good-hearted people, and people that make my working day pleasant.

    I was tested, however, of this belief, when I had a group of kids, who couldn't have been more than 6 years of age, and without any sign of parents, burst into the doorway and yell profanities at each other.

    After they departed, I did think that there was no hope for this generation!

    Not long after, a young boy, again on his own, and not much older than 8, walked into the shop and whilst I was pricing items, asked me if I knew of a particular gentleman who may have donated something last week.

    I didn't recognise the name, and with our records system currently undergoing several changes, and both myself and my boss being quite busy, there was no opportunity to check the donors list. I asked him if he was looking for something that was donated by accident.

    He said no, and said that the gentleman had died very recently, and he was looking for something to remember him by. He wasn't family, but had known this man, who had lived on his own, and had kept him company sometimes.

    The genuine look on that kid's face as he looked for something his old friend may have left behind really touched me. He must have been from the same sort of background as the other kids, and was clutching in his hand a few pound coins that were most likely his pocket money for the week. The fact that he was looking for something as a memory rather than blowing it on on sweets and comics and other stuff for himself I found quite profound.

    A young man who could teach many of us a lesson!

    Feel free to share stories of your own in which your faith in humanity has been restored.
    Last edited by Miss Z; 04-11-2010 at 05:50 PM. Reason: new phrasing needed!

    Zimbabwe 07/13


  2. #2
    Tis lovely. Every generation has complained about the current one. I believe there is a famous letter by Mark Twain but I cannot seem to find it. Alas he was a wise man indeed.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for sharing that story. It sure restores my faith in humanity some. What a lovely, kind little fellow! Did he find a suitable memento?
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  4. #4
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    Aw, now that is a story worth sharing! Thank you!!
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  5. #5
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    Is this it, Marigold? It's not from a letter of his, though...

    "Every man is in his own person the whole human race, with not a detail lacking. I am the whole human race without a detail lacking; I have studied the human race with diligence and strong interest all these years in my own person; in myself I find in big or little proportion every quality and every defect that is findable in the mass of the race. I knew I should not find in any philosophy a single thought which had not passed through my own head, nor a single thought which had not passed through the heads of millions and millions of men before I was born; I knew I should not find a single original thought in any philosophy, and I knew I could not furnish one to the world myself, if I had five centuries to invent it in. Nietzsche published his book, and was at once pronounced crazy by the world-by a world which included tens of thousands of bright, sane men who believed exactly as Nietzsche believed but concealed the fact and scoffed at Nietzsche. What a coward every man is! and how surely he will find it out if he will just let other people alone and sit down and examine himself. The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner."
    - Mark Twain, Mark Twain in Eruption
    "I like physics, but I love cartoons." -- Stephen Hawking

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Z View Post
    In some cases, this can be mistaken for 'working class', by people I tend to associate with, or those not from the area. I often take this as a bit of an insult when I see and talk to people every week, who may not be as affluent or been as lucky with education as I have, but they are good-hearted people, and people that make my working day pleasant.
    Zara, I find the above section from your post very condescending and, as a working class person, somewhat offensive.
    Last edited by ChrisH; 04-11-2010 at 04:40 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by phesina
    What a lovely, kind little fellow! Did he find a suitable memento?
    Unfortunately not. We'll never know if the gentleman did make a donation before he died. I hope he did find some way to put his mind at rest, but I'm sure a gentleman of his grace will, in some manner.

    Chris,

    In what way? Perhaps a bad choice of phrasing on my part. I was referring to the somewhat condescending usage of class by those lucky enough to have all they want in life, not my own opinion.

    ETA: I'll change the 'mistaken'. Rereading that I can understand how that can be misconstrued. Mea culpa.

    Zimbabwe 07/13


  8. #8
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    Miss Z, you are a class act. Thanks for sharing your story. I deal with "brats" everyday and have to remind myself that I don't dislike kids, I dislike the parents that let them do those things. I bet that young fellow will find something somewhere from his friend. The Universe is good that way.
    Claudia

  9. #9
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    ChrisH
    Zara, I find the above section from your post very condescending and, as a working class person, somewhat offensive.
    Actually as I started reading this thread I thought that "Miss Z" was very carefully choosing her words so as to not offend anyone. I thought that the thread was written in such a way that no one even in the "working class", as you Brits would refer to it, should be offended. I think that the "blue collar" , as it is called in the US, would have found it tastefully written. Maybe the "working class" is more sensitive there than I have found "Blue collar" workers in the US to be. I believe most Americans would not find being referred to as "blue collar" as being a disparaging thing. I worked for years as a Systems Engineer and in that position I worked with and supervised many construction types that proudly carried the "blue collar" label. While I was considered management I related well to the men I had to work with on a daily basis. While at work our worlds were very much the same, however after work I was anything but "blue collar" and it did nothing to change how I related to the men I had to work with. I was often "teased" because My life was so different than theirs, but it was always done with respect. Most of the time I was just one of the Guys, blue collar guys.
    “You live and you learn, but if you never learn, at least you are still living.”
    — Unknown

  10. #10
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    Zara, you have experienced a lovely balance - that's what life usually has to offer. For every frown there is a smile; for every disappointment, there is a delight. How wise of you to see it for what it was. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Cathy

    P.S. ChrisH - I think you may have missed the point of Zara's post. Hope you don't hold it against her. To me she appears to be sensitive and treading carefully, not condescending. Cheers!

    When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    Koko- my take, as an American, is that the term 'blue collar' refers, largely, to type of JOB. My take, again as an American, is that the term 'working class' refers to class/caste. I guess you could extrapolate that a 'blue collar' worker is from a lower socio-economic class than a white collar worker, and that is all tied into education and opportunity that could go hand and hand with a class distinction. I don't think that is so, but it could be seen that way.

    It was interesting to read Miss Z's post, and decriptive terms, as an American. I don't think I recognize the class distinction that seemingly exists in GB. Here, in the US, there are plenty of class-less, high class (based on income) people!


  12. #12
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    I guess unless you were born with a family inheritance, or have decided to be a social burden, then All Americans are among the working class. It is hard to classify income by White collar or Blue collar because I know many Blue collar type works that made much more than I did when I was a Management/white collar type. Cataholic you are right there are many class-less high income Americans. I traveled World wide for many years and found that the Brashest people I ran into were Americans. I was often reluctant to admit that I was an American for that reason. I always tried to blend in as much as possible. I actually had a Dutchman respond "but You look so normal" when I told him I was an American.
    “You live and you learn, but if you never learn, at least you are still living.”
    — Unknown

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