November 09, 2008

What goes around ...

I've never really had a clear idea what people mean by karma, but I am a firm believer in the less esoteric concept of "what goes around, comes around". (And I certainly don't mean the song!)
Like many people, I find it comforting to think that there is some sort of natural justice at work in a world which is otherwise so obviously and dispiritingly unfair.

I have recently experienced three such instances, and although they are of microscopic importance, they have reassured me that this benign force still exists, even if we seldom see it at work.

As we all do, I occasionally find a valuable item that has been left behind by its owner, and like most basically honest citizens, I hand it in to the nearest authority. It's just one of those things you do, and I've never thought any more about it.
A couple of months ago I carelessly left my wallet on the platform of the rather seedy train station where I start my one hour journey to work, and it was not until I alighted at the other end that I realised what had happened. In that hour, anyone would have had ample opportunity to use my credit cards on a spending spree at the nearby shopping complex, so I was very anxious to report their loss without further delay.
A succession of exasperating events (no ticket to get me through the gate, absent station staff, dead phone battery, non- functional public telephones, missing phone books etc etc) delayed me for a further 15 minutes, so I was "in a bit of a state" by the time I finally contacted a friend to ask them to look up the necessary numbers and make the calls for me. In an infuriatingly calm voice, my friend asked if I'd got the message from the train station that my purse had been handed in over an hour ago. They'd found his number in the wallet, but nobody could reach me because of my dead phone battery.
Apparently some kindly and honest person had noticed my purse as they alighted from the train I boarded, so it was abandoned for less than a minute, thereby avoiding notice by the less honest folk who frequent that station. I thanked the anonymous person in a letter to the local paper, and I do so again now. I hope they get some small piece of good fortune in their turn.

The second serendipitous event happened during (of all things) my grocery shopping trip yesterday. I had made the infuriating error known as "Choosing the wrong checkout line", because the older lady in front of me had inexplicably turned her trolley around, and now had to reach over the bulky handle to lift her items onto the checkout. Despite some optimistic little jumps and a flailing arm, she couldn't grab any of them, so of course I unpacked her trolley for her (trying not to take too much interest in her choices, because other people's shopping is always far more fascinating than one's own). 
Naturally, she did not use this time to find her purse in her handbag, so there was another long delay while she rummaged around for her credit card and decided whether she wanted extra cash, but I maintained what I hoped was an expression of terminal good nature and tried to think about wildflowers.
After I finally made it out to the carpark and had loaded my groceries into the car, I returned my trolley to the bay. (Oh all right, I admit I'm not always that conscientious, but I do make an effort sometimes.) As I did so, I noticed something in one of the trolleys ahead. Feeling a bit foolish, I pulled out the intervening trolleys and reached the treasure: a large block of chocolate and a tube of toothpaste! They had obviously fallen unnoticed from a shopper's bag, and there was no way of knowing which store they came from, so I accepted this as simply a laugh-out-loud moment, and more than an adequate "reward" for helping a senior citizen. :-)

The third event was not specifically good for me, but it shows that chance is indeed a funny thing. At a recent community festival, I entered a competition run by the local government, with questions about fire safety in a semi-rural area like ours. The main prize was a large hamper of fire protection equipment like extinguishers, blankets, smoke alarms and the like. I didn't notice the minor prizes, so I was very surprised to get a phone call last week congratulating me on having won second prize: a ride in the fire truck, complete with lights and sirens. Hooray!

The thing is (for those who haven't read previous posts), I am a volunteer with the local Bush Fire Brigade, and one of the people qualified to drive the fire truck
So a ride in it wasn't quite the thrill you might have thought. LOL

However, I passed the prize on to a friend with 3 small boys, and I am very happy to know that they (and their father) had a day to remember.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails