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Date: 27/04/11

Chance Encounters And How They Can Change Your Day

I was sitting here shortly before 19:00 this evening in a bit of a fugue, contemplating writing a piece explaining why - despite my generally rageful disposition at the moment - there had been no new postings on the Rants page for a month (something to do with that epidemic condition called CBA - Can't Be Arsed).

There was a knock at the front door.

Opening it, I found a young man standing there. A very pleasant young man of undoubted Afro-Caribbean heritage and a hairstyle which seemed to be poised fetchingly somewhere between the afro and the dread. He was calling on behalf of a charity, seeking people to sign up to donate.

This charity, to be precise:

Blue Cross logo

Now, as I have pointed out before, I do contribute to charities as and when the mood or the situation warrants, and I don't generally take to being importuned in any way (I know, I've probably missed a lot of fun that way, but a boy must have standards, y'know), but there was something about this guy which I found utterly engaging. So, in order for us to discuss the matter further, I invited him in and we sat there (or, rather, here) in the living room as he described what Blue Cross was about and how I could help.

That wasn't all we talked about, though. Over the next hour we talked about ourselves, our views of the world and our interests and, although I also have an aversion to doing anything very much by Direct Debit, I had no hesitation in the end in signing on the line to make regular donations. Because this young feller's (he's nearly thirty years my junior, I found out) enthusiasm and friendly personality deserved recognition and reward for his efforts, not just for the cause he was representing but for the fact that he loosened me from my listlessness. I had obviously amused and entertained him as well (which is the only talent I seem to have developed to an advanced degree) and reminded me once again that - however cynical we may become about our world and many of those in it - people in general are very good (he said that he'd been very successful with his efforts in the village this evening) and that - as Peter Ustinov put it - people are only made bad by circumstance.

We parted having both gained something rather important from the evening, and not just from the nitty-gritty of a financial transaction.

So, hello Gareth if you read this! Stay cool and keep doing what you do!