I was buying a last minute birthday present on the weekend, shortly before heading to the birthday BBQ that I posted about on Saturday/Sunday.
‘Don’t forget it’s fathers day soon!’ the girl at the checkout told me. I started blogging about it as I like to write when something is fresh in my mind, I just didn’t get round to posting. I don’t forget Fathers Day but I do get a different feeling when I see advertisements for it in stores. Times change and with that, our perception of so many things.
She didn’t know my dad died a few years back, I think as I am still in my twenties there is the assumption that I still have both parents. Sadly this isn’t the case for so many people. Does this mean she shouldn’t have said that to me? I don’t think I would say that. As sad as it was to agree that fathers day was coming up and that I should need a reminder, it was a lot better for me to play along. She was being nice, engaging in conversation and for that I have respect. I respect anyone that is trying to be kind, even if that kindness doesn’t have the desired effect. Was I wrong for lying to her? I don’t think so, it would have been inappropriate to make the situation awkward considering how little of my day was taken up by the quick chat.
I guess I could have helped her realise that the reminder may not be relevant for everyone that walks into the store. It is easier for me to realise and be conscious of what I say to people, to learn from these encounters. How often do I say something similar? More often than I would like, I’m sure. I feel it is my duty to take it in good faith and take the goodness out of such a situation instead of poisoning it.
I wouldn’t ask anyone to stop celebrating it or be too overly cautious of offending by talking about it. Too many people are personally offended and ask for others to work around their personal issues. This happens daily and if we just a little bit better at controlling the inevitable emotions that are triggered everyday, society would be a little more tolerable. Religion has a duty in my opinion to do so with ever more multi-cultural societies.
Like an old cannon looking out to a sea for an army that is no longer a threat, things change and with that, the purpose or meaning. What was once a weapon is now an attraction. What was once a pleasure is now a painful reminder. Our perception of what we see changes and we need to adapt!