Monday, 25 May 2009

Cry Me A River..

It's widely known that compassion is not one of my strong points. I don't fall for sob stories, I'm usually devoid of sympathy. I'm the sort of person who has to put actual effort into suppressing laughter when somebody falls. And I don't feel guilty if a sneaky snigger slips out. It's just who I am.

Working where I work, doing what I do, I hear many tales of woe. They vary from the meaningless, such as a bad back, to the serious, like someone dying..(I'm considering moonlighting as an agony aunt..)
Generally, I half-listen, nod repeatedly, and make the appropriate noises. On a good day, I might even go to the added effort of paying attention. But I'm never really there. My would-be ass is in the chair, but my mind is in a galaxy far, far away.

Truth be told, I just dont care.

Every so often though, there's one story, one person who breaks through the apathy, makes you sit back, and just leaves you despairing for the wreck that is today's society. (Just for the record, I do know what's going on, I've heard the stories, and yes, I realise that the abuse, and crimes committed are beyond words. I am in no way comparing this story to those offences.)

An elderly lady regulary comes into the shop. I know her from my primary school days, she brought us our corned beef sandwiches and milk at lunch times. A harmless old soul, she was almost part of the furniture, and well liked by all.
With all the faces she's seen, and all the pupils she's watched walk out of the school, she still remembered me when she saw me. Or claimed to, at least. (I'd like to think she does, even though as a pupil I sort of faded into the background)

Anyway...she was doing her shopping the other day. She came to me, and as I helped her pack her stuff up, she chatted to me. At first, I did the usual, non-committal smiles, a nod here and there. But then she said something that made me listen.

She'd been robbed.

The details are sketchy, I was trying to listen while very aware that I had a queue of increasingly impatient people. But, basically, a group of younger boys (she said boys, I'm going to assume it was a mixed group though) broke into her home, and helped themselves to €700 that she'd been saving. To go to Lourdes. She's 87. Though it actually saddens me to think it, this was very possibly her last opportunity to go.

Ashamedly, my first thought was 'Shoulda put it in the bank, shouldn't ya!'. But I felt sickened, and just awful for this woman. And it really made me wonder what kind of people are we creating? I cannot fathom how someone could even contemplate stealing anything, let alone something of that amount. If it's not yours, you don't take it.

Sometimes, most of the time, I think maybe I'm better off being the way I am. It saves a lot of heartache, right?

(Sorry for the long, rambly post, it was originally handwritten at 3am, and I don't believe in editing my thoughts!)


conor said...

i know an elderly couple, one of whom was very ill, and his wife who was terribly stressed out, who were robbed when they left their house to go to mass. at christmas. people smashed a window and stole presents, antique jewellery, money. it really really stressed them out and upset them. i wanted very badly to find these people and slowly dismember them with a golf club. society today is fcking crap

Daily Daydreamer said...

@Conor That's exactly it. It's not something that's ever gonna make the news, and it's not something that people are gonna actually stop and try to do something about, but it's a fucking horrible thing, and frankly, I'm kinda sick of it now!