Saturday, 22 October 2011

in which G loses a hat and the goodness of the human condition is put to the test

The other morning I decided to take a walk into town with Miss G. The weather has changed a little bit for the wintery variety, so it was cold (about 8 degrees celcius - Fahrenheit readers work that out for yourself) but at the same time it was gloriously sunny. So I bundled G up, found the muff thingy for the buggy and, at the last minute, placed a beanie on her head (she is currently not blessed with a insulating head of hair). It was her first attempt as a cognitive being at both the beenie and in the muff. She was vaguely amused by the hat, less amused by the muff, and immediately starting whinging as she search in vain for her feet...

 Off we trotted. 10 minutes in I noticed that said hat was no longer on said child's head. Parents of 13 month olds everywhere will currently be saying: Tres suprise! What were you thinking woman? A hat on a 13 month old is like a broke shopaholic in the sales - doomed from the start.   I looked behind me to see if I could see it to pick it up, but it was not in sight.  At this point I pondered retracing my steps to go and find it. And then I made a decision that suprised me. I just walked on. The reason I did this? I assumed some one who walked past would pick it up and put it somewhere to be seen, and that it would still be there when we came back an hour and a half later.  Well that and I was on a tight time schedule and it only cost 99p from Sainsbury's 2 years ago, and it wasn't as cold as I thought it was anyway...

So was I being stupid or naive? We are conditioned to think that if we lose our possessions someone will help themselves to them as fast as possible - well we were in the times and places I grew up.  Something dropped not picked up immediately is lost forever.  But in the last 6 months: K lost her camera at an adventure park and it was handed in at the office; G left her beloved Ikea mouse (known throughout the village as Ratton) at the local corner shop, where he sat proudly on the till waiting to be collected the next time I came in; G also dropped the dreaded blanket bear, who was picked up by someone who knew it was hers and placed on my car roof.  I don't know if its the town we live in specifically, because we live in the country or if its the UK in general. More optimistically, is it just because people are a kind and good-natured on the whole? That the selfish image we have of humans as greedy stealing unkind people isn't really true, that people are innately good and kind? I'm a good person, I'd pick it up if I found it. I wouldn't think: Score - a hat that might fit G. No-one else I know would either. So why do we assume the worst in everyone?

Was it there when I came back? Of course it was. Not only that, but it had been found by someone with a sense of humour :) People are good. Hurrah!


  1. Awesome! :) Same things here. Drop a mitten or scarf and they are picked up and placed somewhere visible, sometimes even suspended from tree branches. A friend of mine left his trombone on a tram in Helsinki and several hours later, the trombone was still on the seat where he left it several hours later. Amazing! ...or perhaps no one really wants a trombone

  2. I should read and edit before posting repetitive blog comments - apologies