Our conversation the other day arose from my friend making his way through my book, and reminiscing about an incident which followed another happenstance which I have described in the book. It turns out - and I had no idea about this whatsoever, that my partner, some twenty three years ago, had done me a great kindness. At the scene of a nasty, fatal road accident with bodies lying in the roadway, he had recognized that I was still suffering some emotional trauma from that previous incident. Unbeknownst to me, he realized that I was - to put it mildly - troubled, and not at my best. As a result, he stepped into the breach and spared me the Lion's share of the workload. I had no idea that he had done that for me, twenty three years ago.
I've said my (belated) thank you, but I'm now left wondering...What else did I miss? Have I failed to notice other good deeds done to me, for me, by people who have gone unrecognized? Frankly, the thought bothers me a great deal. This does, however, follow a familiar pattern - which makes it highly possible that I have been remiss. I've always been a complete idiot where female interest in me is concerned; I've always assumed that any women in the room do not find me attractive - in fact it's my default position. Have I been applying the same kind of approach to people's kindness towards me? Have I been wrongly assuming that only a very, very few people have ever been fond enough of me to care - or to lift a hand to help?
As, I suspect, a great many people probably do also, I've frequently felt that life has been - if not exactly a struggle - something that I've persistently worked at, and that the good stuff that's happened to me has been the sole result of my own efforts to make it happen. Now, I have the uncomfortable feeling that I may have missed a lot of kindnesses, a lot of friendly acts, and even a lot of compassion. Hell's teeth - what a horrible thought.
I very much hope that this isn't the case - not because I don't want to have had such things in my life, but because I hope that I haven't been too obtuse to not notice the kindness of others - and of course, to have not said those important words of thanks...