It Takes a Certain Kind to be Unkind


It had been a beautiful day. A great picnic, at an incredibly scenic place. Lush greens, woods of oak and other trees I don’t know of, a lake, a hundred-year-old hacienda, a cottage with roses growing all around. Marvellous people, an extravagant potluck lunch, bonhomie…and then it was time to wrap up on this high note of pleasure. But nothing perfect lasts forever – forever? This didn’t even last through a picnic!

As I gathered my things: crockery, cutlery etc and put them back into my bags, one of the bags – the bigger one – toppled over knocking another smaller one off the bench on which some of us had placed our stuff. I was engrossed in what I was doing, getting out my medicines which I had to take at that hour, and I didn’t register the sound of anything falling off. In my favour, I could add that in the cacophony of many voices, about thirty odd people talking, I didn’t notice what had happened. That is until a rude, strident voice cut into my reverie – if reverie it was.

“Look what you’ve done! You dropped my bag!”
I snapped out of wherever my mind had been and saw this rather heavy woman stomping up to where the bench was, looking like a thundercloud.

“But I didn’t!” I said wondering what she was talking about.
“Yes,” she insisted, “you did. There look,” she retorted hotly and pointed to the ground.

“oh! I didn’t know. I’m so sorry,” I added with genuine remorse.

I proceeded to pick up her bag, which was a difficult task as I had to be careful not to hurt my back and also my left arm and shoulder which were recovering from an injured tendon.

“And all my cutlery and glasses too…You dropped everything!” she continued.

It took a lot of self-control not to talk back to her. I was on the edge by that time. Her attitude was accusatory, her tone was derogatory. I shifted my mind to a small prayer for patience and self-control. I needed help!

I picked up her bag and handed it to her, and also the tray under the bench which was the only thing that had any cutlery and a couple of glasses in it. The spoons and knives were dirty as were the glasses.

“The cutlery is dirty!” I said.

“That cutlery isn’t mine,” She spat, and grabbed the bag, stared daggers at the tray and its contents, “And neither are the glasses.”

“Well, ok, I’ll just put it back where it was. So it appears nothing fell out of your bag! And I didn’t deliberately drop your bag, but still I’m sorry about it,” I said and continued calmly with whatever it was I was doing before her rude intrusion.

I wondered later in the day when I was back home, why people like her were so rude, unkind, and demeaning. And I also wondered what would have happened if I had spoken to her in the same way. Apart from ruining the entire day, as she almost did mine, it would have caused bad relations which would have triggered much negativity into the group. Invariably there would have been a side that thought she was right and one that supported meĀ though I admit the ones for me would be a minusculeĀ group. I don’t really ‘belong’ here. I am the foreigner trying to adjust. While almost everyone is extremely nice, friendly and helpful I am quite sure if it came to taking sides, I’d not have many on mine. I understand that. One stands with one’s long-standing friends and colleagues.

I’m so thankful I didn’t react to her in kind. It would have triggered an outpouring of unwanted vitriol. That’s how hatred, bitterness and resentment brew. It was better to respond with courtesy. I don’t know her story so I can’t say I know where she’s coming from, but from experience I can say I have an idea. We can only give out what we have inside of us. It takes a certain kind to be unkind with no apparent cause.

7 thoughts on “It Takes a Certain Kind to be Unkind

  1. So true, I went to Stuart M. Perkins blog because he read something I just posted and I saw yours and wondered if you were able to reblog his post. I saw that each of us were talking about the same thing – but in different ways. And you are right. Everything we think, say and do makes a cause that has an effect and when we open our mouth instead of keeping it shut in the instant that makes us want to respond in kind, we say things we can’t take back. I have done that so often. I was going to reblog yours on one of my blogs (Watch and Whirl) but didn’t see a reblog button. Did I miss it? The post I was talking about is on my blog if you’d like to see.


  2. I’m going to open my big mouth – if you really are new to blogging. Tags – that is how people find you through searching. Unique to your post – a word that would bring up your post. “Responding”, would someone search with that word? Tags should be found in the post for Google to pick up. Good luck!


    1. Thanks sonniq! I’m not actually new to blogging…I’ve got one a couple on blogpost…but I know nothing about the how and whats of getting a blog more viewers. Truth is I’m not tech savvy. I know the bare essentials and struggle with even simple things. There I’ve said it…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It can be frustrating, because I wasn’t tech savvy, either, and there is still much I don’t know yet, but I’ve learned a lot. BTW, I did find the reblog button. It only shows up when you click on the post and no if you read it only from the archive roll that scrolls. Although I have managed over to time to build up my wordpress readers, it is nowhere near what some other people have. You have to be a dedicated reader of other blogs then many of them come to your blog and it builds from there. But when you have followed quite a few blogs, it is really hard to get back to them enough and still do your own writing. I try to go to a couple every day. Most of my hits come from other places. The best one – is Stumble Upon. Go there and post your post and check a few places it could apply too. There is a poetry section and creative writing. The great thing about that SM is that places like facebook and twitter have a short life. StumbleUpon builds the longer it is there. Posts I wrote a year and a half ago still gets hits every month. If the amount goes down, someone will share it and the numbers go up. When you have a good post and they share it, and others share it, it just keeps going. Although I use twitter and pintrest and tumbler, the hits are usually in the single digits, but they do add up. If you have a fb page for your blog then you can it on your blog with a scroll feature and people can like it right from your blog. I’ve seen some bloggers use the same tags for every post whether or not their post says anything about it, and some use a gazillion tags or categories. Google ranking doesn’t like that. Learn how to tag and occasionally do a search on your tags and see if you are anywhere to be found. People will only go back so many pages. Look at other blogs like yours and see how they tag and if they know what they are doing. When i started blogging I was at a different place – – and they had no community. In fact, the lights were on and no one was home. I started my first hits by going to articles that were appropriate about what I was writing and I would put my blog in a comment and drag people here. It worked. It got me started. It takes a lot of work, and now I’m writing a book too – about One more thing – here ad WP they have 2 course you can take blogging 101 and 102. It teaches a lot of things to help you get going. I highly rate it. Good luck. If I can help you in any way just ask. The forum also has lots of questions asked and answered. its interesting to hear what other people ask.


  3. Reblogged this on Watch and Whirl and commented:
    . . . . .So many times i have opened my mouth when I should have kept it shut, even though it felt so good at the moment I said it. it is taking a life time of learning this. I wonder if I’ll learn it before I die!


      1. Self control – oops! My problem is other people being self centered. If I get too far out on a limb, my 82 year old mother, bless her heart, yanks me down by my leg to keep me from leaving the earth like letting the air out of a balloon!

        Liked by 1 person

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