Royal Mail and Kindness

Anger is such an unpleasant feeling, and any time it’s been directed at me I’ve felt sick to my stomach. Luckily it’s not been often, but when it does happen, I go cold. I just don’t like those traits in people, can’t bear the ill feeling anger and viciousness bring to all involved in a crappy situation. And as you may surmise, I am at the receiving end of it right now.

I was selling some Wii games on ebay – now that Monkey has moved on to Xbox, iPad and Nintendo DS, he no longer uses the Wii console, and since most of those games were £40 each, I figured I may as well get rid of them on ebay and use whatever I might get for them to put towards new Xbox games. No point in them gathering dust, right?

Said and done. Sold a handful and duly posted them via 1st Class mail a couple of weeks ago, and all’s well that ends well in my world.

My ebay account is linked to an old e-mail address, so I only go in and check manually. As we were away last weekend, it was only yesterday I logged on and what I found was three VERY angry messages from a buyer, along with a refund request. I’ll never go down in history as the chick who wrapped her words in silk or held her tongue, but I won’t repeat the language this person used about me. His game hadn’t turned up and I have no way of tracing it as it was 1st Class and not recorded. To be fair, the fact that it had been a week and he’d got no response from me, I absolutely agree with as to how it made him furious. Nothing worse than a stone wall when you want an answer, so I don’t blame him.

After all, he’d paid for a game, it didn’t turn up and then he got no response from the person who’d taken his money. So I’m not going to argue with how angry he was or even the language he used.

First I felt ill. I’ve never done anything dishonest in my life, and my first reaction was indignation – how DARE he suggest I deliberately stole from him? Nothing could be further from the truth, I never have and never will I pull a con trick. Then, I realised that this guy doesn’t know me, and if I were to put myself in his shoes, this would possibly be the conclusion I’d come to as well, even though I tend to assume the best until I’m faced with cold, hard facts to show me the opposite.

I dropped him a note and immediately refunded him – obviously. Explained that we’d been away, and that I don’t know how or where the game got lost with Royal Mail.

However. Negative feelings are usually best killed with kindness, so this morning, I’m posting a parcel to this man – special delivery!!!! – containing three other Wii games that I still have, as a gesture of goodwill and a small measure to perhaps trigger a smile and restore his faith in humanity. Too much shite going on in this world and I think we could all do with a bit of love and kindness somewhere we don’t expect it, so hopefully in a few days’ time, some random guy in Yorkshire will receive a random gift from a random person in London.

I’m not doing it to strengthen my Karma (I’m fairly sure I’m well in the black on that score), but it feels good to do nice things. Little selfless deeds that might just put a smile on someone’s face, when you get nothing in return except the knowledge that you did something good – although that feeling is the best thing in my book. Also, I’ve been conned before, and I know how violated you feel when you’ve been tricked by unscruptulous bastards who have no concern for other people. And I’ve also been on the receiving end of random kindness – like the old man in the cornershop one time, who bought a couple of lottery tickets and suddenly turned around and handed me one of them, telling me “you’ve got a gorgeous smile, I hope you win”. That made my day and I will always remember it.

Always pay it forward. Sometimes the recipient deserves your kindness, other times they may not, but it’s never a bad thing to send some love and kindness out into the universe. And the smallest gesture can mean so much – like a £1 lottery ticket! To the old man it might just have been £1, but to me it meant the greatest feeling and I walked home from the shop with a huge smile on my face, and as I said, it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Then of course, you have those awful people who spend all their time and energy being angry and bitter, and I’m not sure what to do with those but no one’s worth giving up on. So perhaps one day I’ll anonymously send a random SPA kit to some random north of London, or a bunch of flowers perhaps. They’ll never know it was me who wanted to brighten up their day, and I like that. Kindness with no ulterior motive. The world needs more of it, so I’m going to make sure I practice that philosophy every day.

After all, what’s better than knowing you did something good that made someone happy, no matter how small it might have been?

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