Friday, 7 March 2014

The Wheelbarrow Man

Just been reading an article written by a chap called Thomas Martienssen for the BBC News, about a place called Palmerston in the Cook Islands in the Pacific.

All manner of thoughts come to mind, not least that, for all the evident difficulties imposed by its isolation, the place does sound like a little piece of paradise. I would dearly love to visit there one day, though I'm doubtful I'll get the chance.

Anyway, the part that really reached out to touch me was the following:

I ask one of the islanders what would happen if someone was to steal a coconut. [writes Tomas Matienssen]

"I'd fill a wheel barrow [with coconuts] and take it round," he tells me. "They're obviously desperate but too proud to ask for one."

I found that quite beautiful.

Landlocked by circumstance and distracted by things other than sailing the last couple of months, I've found myself of late drawn in much closer in to the work of the dog rescue Nikki and I are involved with. I've never been ignorant of human nature or at all naive with regards to the perils of the mob and pack mentality, especially when funnelled through the medium of the Internet and social media. However, I've been, in turn, crushed and uplifted by some of the people I've had dealings with of late.

I'd have to say that it's the latter, the uplifting, that has eventually prevailed over the last week. As I knew it would. But it has been, at times, quite an emotionally bruising experience.

The dogs, of course, have all been beautiful.

Whilst I've always fought hard to not become too cynical, I had thought I'd lost the capacity to be surprised by the way some people behave and the way facts can be so twisted and distorted, whether through malice or misinterpretation, wilful or otherwise.

So I needed the Palmerston story about now, and especially the grace and wisdom of the wheelbarrow man.

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