Saturday, 28 August 2010

What You’re Really Saying

 I am going off today in my caravan. I have been walking the coastal path where I live. To complete the whole walk we are taking a few days living at the far end and walking some of it from there. The total walk is some 90 miles. It will be nice to be in another place and the possibility of meeting other people.

I am, my wife tells me an avid people watcher. In truth I love the experience of new people. Some people make it very difficult to get to know them though. They roll out the carpet of unwelcome. Others, it seems just do not know how to take a compliment.

Yesterday I popped down to my plot. Before leaving I had been given a gift of two cabbages and a turnip. Feeling good I headed home thinking I would share my joy. I was heading to the newsagent when I bumped into somebody I had not seen in ages. I commented on how well she looked. “What do you mean?” she said. “Are you saying I do not look good every other day? You said I look good today. That must mean I do not look good every day.” I decided not to offer her the extra cabbage. Some people have a wonderful art of changing a compliment into an insult.

Strangers beware!

I remember once visiting a new church while on holiday. My son and I attended the early morning service. Not one member of that congregation spoke to us at that service. The following Sunday we returned. This time I put on my ministerial collar. We were overwhelmed by people wanting to welcome us. I said nothing about the pervious week, but when invited to preach the following Sunday. I preached on the carpet of unwelcome. I told them maybe they need to have a welcome mat. That congregation did just that. They had a rota of people who were there looking for strangers. I am sure many visitors enjoyed their visit to that church that summer.

It is all about attitude really. Some people look for rejection. Let me end with a great little story.

A young trainee salesman had become discouraged because he had been rejected by so many of the customers he approached. He asked a more experienced salesman for some advice.

“Why is it that every time I make a call on someone I get rejected?”

“I just don’t understand that,” answered the older salesman. “I’ve been hit on the head, called dirty names, and thrown out the door, but I’ve never been rejected.”

Rejection isn’t what happens to us but how we interpret what happens to us.

Oh the cabbage! I said good morning to a stranger after purchasing my newspaper. He responded by commenting on the weather and stopped to pass the time of day. I hope he enjoyed the cabbage.

I hope to be able to post my blog but if not it is because of circumstances not that I have rejected anybody.

Have a wonderful weekend.

This blog is linked to my other.  The Coastal Path


  1. I was in Weston-Super-Mare yesterday and was shocked at the amount of people who won't even return a smile let alone pass the time of day. But girl in the cafe we bought cream teas in was lovely and gave us an extra scone each :)

    Have a great weekend in your caravan :)

  2. Some people don't know how to accept a compliment. As a child, I remember being embarrassed when given one. My mother had to teach me to accept it graciously. It wasn't an easy thing to do. Perhaps many people were never taught... Its a shame. Cabbages could be their reward!

    Enjoy your trip and the people you meet along the way. I'm sure you'll share them with us...

  3. Ralph,
    I wish you were the kind of person I ran into:) I love to peaople-watch and talk with strangers. I also loved your story about what happened in church. We are still searching for a good church and friendliness is high on my list and so I try to be but I see that many people are uncomfortable with it.

  4. And I come away with the heady scent of pigs in the blanket teasing my senses. Hmmm...a trip to the store may be in order. Happy caravanning, Ralph!

  5. Good Morning young fellow! 90 miles, running 6 miles per day, you coud run this in 15 days and leave your "motorhome" home! A "caravan" would be a bunch of motorhomes. Isn't language funny!
    Have a great time, Ralph!

  6. I hope you are having a wonderful time! This is such a beautiful post and and terrific reminder. Thank you again for your inspiration and saying just the right thing at the right time.

  7. Hi Ralph I really enjoyed this post and I'll accept that cabbage from you anytime, and you'd get a smile and a hug too.!