top of page

..and then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid....

Around 4 Years ago, my wife and my Australian and Canadian cousin were walking along the cobbled path alongside the quay in Bristol, England.

We came across a memorial to Merchant Shipment who had lost their lives in World War 2.

It was a simple memorial and there was a curved long seat, with small gold plaques featuring names and dates, which we presumed were names of those that had died.

One the ground nearby, crouched a lady in her 30's watering a flower in a stone circle and she had a carrier bag with other flowers in it.

As we stopped , she looked up and said that she was doing this as the council had stopped doing this and as she could afford it, she was doing it instead.

I, my wife and probably my cousins ,thought this was a lovely gesture from this lady.

My wife then said that the flowers were pretty.

And that's when the lady could've said thank you.

She could have carried on the conversation, asking us why we were there.

She could have explained more, maybe a relative or relatives were on the memorial.

She didn't.

She simply said that it was more than 'pretty flowers' that she was doing it for and moved away from us.

And in one moment, her generous nature, her selfless act, was lost on us.

She chose to take umbrage at a simple phrase and went from selfless to selfish.

My wife knew the meaning of the memorial and it's significance and obviously was admiring both this ladies deed AND the flowers.

Yet, our lasting memory ,and the topic of today's Re-Freshing thought, is the parting comment from the lady.

I'm sure she was a lovely person, her gesture in doing the thing at the memorial tells me she probably is.

Yet, instead of leaving us with a warm feeling, she left us cold.

So, if you do something generous, selfless, charitable, it is better to simply do it and feel good about it.

Boasting, telling, relating to people about all the good stuff you do , isn't what charity, volunteering and sacrifice is about.

And if someone asks you about the work, thank them and explain why you're doing it and the significance and what it means to you.

Chances are you'll leave a better lasting impression and even better chances are that THEY will go and do something for others.

So, today and beyond, go help others and do it selflessly.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page