Tuesday, 13 September 2016

What I learned from a broken umbrella?

This morning I woke up at 5am and got myself ready. I left the house at 5.45am for a just under 15 minute walk to the gym. It was raining as I left, something that I didn't realise until I was outside.

Fortunately I always carry a foldable umbrella in my bag so that if it does rain, then I am prepared and don't get particularly wet.

This morning however I noticed that my umbrella had broken. It still could be put up though and still keep me reasonably dry but it was obviously broken.

As I was approaching the gym I was walking past a 7/11 convenience store and three "woman" got out of a taxi. I was then told that I needed a new umbrella.

"No kidding" I thought to myself. Then I said out loud in as a sarcastic tone as I could muster "Thank you very much for the observation, I would never had known if you hadn't told me."

That was the end of the interaction. However it got me thinking, why do people need to tell people something that is pretty obvious? Why did these three have to tell me that my umbrella was broken and tell me in an almost mocking tone? Finally why did I get so annoyed about it?

Let me try to answer the first question. The whole scene must have looked funny to them as I was walking down the street with the front of my umbrella bent down. Also judging by the way they were dressed it looked like they had been out all night. (I wonder what the scene is like on a Monday night.) They might have had a few during the night and they say that imbibing a few brings about Dutch courage. (By the way, can anyone tell me what the Netherlands has to do with losing your inhibitions under the influence of alcohol?)

I know in New Zealand I have had people yell something at me at all times of the day and night just because I happened to be there and I was the closest person available.

I think the reason that people do shout out things is that it makes them feel better about themselves as though they are superior to the person they are talking to. They need that outlet because maybe they are underlings at their job and this is a time to have a go at a total stranger.

The reason I got annoyed was that first of all I didn't think it needed to be said. I already knew that my umbrella was broken and I was a little self-conscious about when in reality I shouldn't have given a f**k. Who cares what these people think? But I was worried about it and these people's comments just made me angry. It pissed me off in fact.

My point today is that by all means try to build your confidence. Try to build your self-esteem up. I think that is why we are here but don't do it at the expense of others. I have read stories of people who are obviously overweight been yelled at from the safety of the car. They have been running along the street trying to lose some of that weight. Good on them I say, they are probably conscious of it already and then to get these idiots yelling abuse at them is just pathetic. Yell encouragement or better still get out running with them but don't tell them something they already know.

So, next time you see someone out with broken umbrella, why don't you offer your one to him to her? Give it expecting nothing in return.

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