The kindness of strangers

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers

Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

After I wrote about MS making me an angry and slightly resentful person, feeling like I need to be on the defensive all the time, I thought I should redress the balance. So today I’m writing about how, despite sometimes encountering people who thoughtlessly (and unintentionally) make my life harder, I encounter a greater number of people who go out of their way to make it easier.

These people are usually strangers, from the man who saw my ‘Please Offer Me A Seat’ badge on a crowded overground train and asked seated passengers to let me sit down, to the people who always rush to pick up the things I drop when I’m grappling with my stick and all the other things I have to carry around. And all the people who do jump up out of their seats without a word when I get on the tube or the bus.

Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire said she depended on the kindness of strangers, but in her case she was deluded and the characters around her exploited and mistreated her. Her faith in human nature was sadly naive.

In so many ways, and reluctantly, I really am dependent on the kindness of strangers. Thankfully, unlike Blanche, I know my faith in human nature isn’t misplaced.

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