RESTORING FAITH IN HUMANITY We live in a world where, in the main, we’re taught not to speak to strangers, to remain wary of things that seem too good to be true and to, rather depressingly, often presume the worst of human nature.
Yet the events that took place just before a recent Christmas provided me with a memorable lesson in why that may not be the best way to approach life.
It was Christmas Eve and I was leaving my flat in London to drive back to my parents for the big day. Upon getting into my car I found a note on the dashboard that said, ‘your car has been involved in a crime, please call the police’ and gave a telephone number to call.
Feeling pretty concerned I rang the number and was told that the car had been broken into in the early hours of the morning.
I looked around and saw not a thing out of place, or any smashed windows. How bizarre.
Another phone call was scheduled for later in the day, once the police had reviewed some CCTV footage.
When the police eventually got back to me they told me that the tape revealed a woman walking the length of my street, trying to open car doors. When she got to my red mini, her luck was in – the door simply opened! She got inside and spent the night there.
My car hadn’t been broken into; rather I had carelessly forgotten to lock it.
Now, obviously I don’t know the reasons (most probably very complex) for someone needing to spending the night in my car, but, being hardly inconvenienced, how could I object – particularly at Christmas time – the season of goodwill to all.
This turn of events restored my faith in humanity (simultaneously denting my self-confidence in all locking related matters of course.) The importance of believing in the inherent goodness of humanity was best articulated by Mahatma Ghandi when he said, ‘you must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.’ One of my favourite elements of this tale is that even the bag of jelly babies - car sweet of choice - remained unopened. A seriously polite car guest! (Vanessa Feltz made the car = Xmas stable link afterwards ♀️)