Yesterday, on a day when most of the world took in the terrible news about the massacre in New Zealand, a neighbour decided to leave an intolerant note on the windscreen of a car parked in front of our house.
As we finished our dinner we heard an elderly Egyptian woman calling to us from outside. She waved a piece of paper as she cried ‘Sorry’ over and again. We went outside and asked her what had happened. She explained that this note had been stuck to her windscreen and she was dreadfully sorry to have inconvenienced us.
We stopped her to explain that this was not our doing. This was not from us. That we would not do that.
She left the piece of paper with us and left, I hope, reassured that not everyone in our street thinks in the way that the letter represented.
I, however, have been left with a sadness that people around me are so small minded to be this angry and rude about a car space. That people can intimidate others in this way. That people can be so intolerant of others.
If we want tolerance, we need to practise this at home, in our streets and in our communities. Even if it means taking a breath and driving around the block for a car park. Even if it means being a little uncomfortable.
I stand for tolerance.