Social Niceties

Today my son Jack started at his new school. Yes, we switched schools before the year’s end, as Jack had put up with bullying classmates and ignorant teachers for too long, and had balked at the idea of staying at his old school one last term. The school had boasted a “No Bullying” policy, but had failed to be effective in stopping Jack’s bullies from tormenting him day after day for nearly 2 years. I’ m not sure if it’s a social class thing (us being poor and the majority of the students at his previous school being born with a silver spoon in their mouths), or if it’s just a teenage thing.

I really hope Jack settles down well in this school. It’s a public school, fee-free, no fancy uniform or hair rules, and it’s local to us so I don’t have to be his chauffeur anymore. 
I picked him up after school, and asked how his day had gone. Apparently, it had gone Very well, he liked his teachers, he remembered some of the students from his primary school days, and best of all, he felt welcomed.

Jack also told me that he’d held the door open for some students, and that out of 19, 12 of them had said “Thank You” to him. Contrast that to when he held the door open for the rich kids at his previous school, and only 1 out of 20 had thanked him.

I guess Money can’t buy common courtesy or manners. 

The only fly in the ointment was that when we were on the way home at the traffic lights, a woman driver boldly cut across 2 rows of traffic and pulled up in front of us without indicating. I honked my horn at her. She flipped me the bird. The traffic lights were red, so I got treated to a plethora of stickers stuck on the back of the tart’s car.

I should’ve taken a photo of her car, but because I was behind the wheel, I couldn’t. Suffice to say that 9 out of 10 of the stickers were very antagonistic, used expletives, were misogynistic, and basically told everyone to F-off her back. 

Well, I don’t know what her story is, and I don’t want to know. But I’ve had more than my own share of upsets, disappointments and betrayals. Maybe she did too. And she chose to express her anger and frustration by plastering the back of her car with stickers that exuded negativity…so that anyone who had the misfortune of being stuck behind her at the traffic lights, like myself, could have the dubious pleasure of being “infected” by the same negative attitude she has. No wonder people are so nasty these days!

But the one thing that separates me from that woman (well, at least I hope it does!)  is that I’ve learnt not to be bitter or resentful about the cards Life deals me. Instead, I laugh and just keep going. This too will pass, you see. What’s the point in getting upset about that woman giving me the finger? It’s a reflection of Her character, not of mine.

So, as the old saying goes, “There but for the grace of God, go I”. 

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