Living in Southern Spain while my Spanish is improving, the fact that it’s only good enough to make me dangerous means I often inadvertently find myself eavesdropping on conversations going on around me when people are speaking English. More often than not what I hear is holiday banality, the kind of nattering quickly that fades away becoming easily ignored grey-noise.
But every once something reaches my ear that grabs sadness from deep inside me and drags it to the surface. But the real challenge is when I hear something that makes me angry, someone being crude to the person they’re talking to, or rudely talking about someone who’s not. When this happens I have to literally bite my tongue and focus elsewhere. I also have to say that its been a joy to meet and get to know some amazing people simply because a laugh led to a mutual willingness to strike up a conversation!
All this is to ask a question; How often do you hear someone say something you don’t like or agree with and decide to jump and say something even though the person saying it doesn’t have a clue who you are? What on earth makes you think they need or want the opinion of a stranger?
The harder inquiry and the heart of the matter is understanding the excuse you give yourself —and them— for doing so…