Today started like any Sunday... coffee, check my email, read the paper. All very normal Sunday activity for many of us as we approach fulfilling our ‘Baby Booming’ years.
We think we are savvy and smart... we think we know a thing or two about life and mostly we do. However my faith was questioned not once but twice before the clock struck noon!
So why was today different? Firstly I went off to a Heritage Festival tour of the beautifully restored Civic Theatre and on the way I meandered through the maze of construction alleyways adjacent to the Aotea Centre. I was horrified to discover two magnificent mature cacti trees vandalised for no apparent reason by idiots with nothing to do but create havoc in our city. One of these four metre trees was mutilated and pushed over the second one had its pottery container smashed to smithereens. Why? one would have to ask? I phoned the city council who nonchalantly said “they would pass on the message”. I wonder what motivates these clowns... is it booze or misguided bravado? There are no security cameras in the location at present so I guess they will continue to vandalise our city for a few more years yet... hopefully they will be caught at some stage.
The second episode that challenged my Sunday morning was at the petrol station on Fanshawe Street. What is nagging at me is that I probably should have said ‘no’ to this young man and I said ‘yes’ . WHY I don’t know. A moment of my feeling charitable, feeling pity. I have felt taken advantage of rightly or wrongly. Perhaps they were really needy. I’ll never know.
As I filled my car with fuel, a reasonably well presented young man came over and asked me for help. A woman and child were in the car. He said, as he smiled at me, “I have driven from Rotorua and we have run out of petrol and I don’t have enough money to get to Orewa. Can you help? “
It may have been the child that beamed at me... or his pleasant smiling face? So I gave him two $10.00 petrol vouchers I happened to have!
The chap in the petrol station told me later that the customer had no money and then had bought $10.00 worth of petrol and cigarettes. This was with ‘my vouchers’. I felt a little cheated - cigarettes!!! Ugh.... Had he not told me that I would have felt good about my generosity on a Sunday morning in Auckland... after all, I was taught that charity begins at home and this family appeared to need help. I hope I was right!