At what might be considered a, somewhat, advanced age, I remain an idealist; something that, to me, is represented in a belief that my fellow human beings are, with a few exceptions, honest, decent people who just try to do their bit. One of the main problems, however, is that many of those exceptions are in positions of power.
Among my reasons for those beliefs is that, in my 35 years in or working for the voluntary sector, I witnessed the ways in which the people I worked with helped others. This was, often, on a voluntary basis but also among the paid staff of the organisations themselves; most of the latter of whom weren’t in receipt of large pay packets. In addition, many of the people we helped did amazing things; not least the people who were homeless and unemployed who built their own homes.
That faith in the goodness of most people was demonstrated again today at the Lambourne End Centre, an excellent project that I’m currently working with. Among the young people the Centre works with are those experiencing difficulties in their lives and, in my, somewhat, cack handed way, I was trying to repay one young man who been very helpful a few days previously. This took the form of me offering him my old Smart phone, which I’ve just replaced and which, I thought, might be better than his old mobile. He didn’t seem too keen and was, perhaps, a little embarrassed at the situation.
So, at the usual early meeting this morning, I asked if anyone else wanted it before I put it in the drawer at home. One young man present was a little surprised but took up my offer, delighted to be able to replace his, which had a broken screen. He left the meeting but returned 10 minutes later to give it to the other young man, saying that he thought he might have a better use for it. The phone was happily accepted and, quickly set up. No one had suggested to the first young man that he should do what he did; he just felt that it was the best thing to do. I left the project some hours later with my faith reinforced and I’m still feeling good. Money can’t buy that.