The UNkindness of Strangers

The Daily Prompt today is The Kindness of Strangers.  When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous or selfless for you?  Tell us what happened!

I sat here for several minutes contemplating this but I can’t think of any time that a stranger has done something particularly kind, generous or selfless for me.  Maybe there have been some that I can’t recall at the moment but all I can think of are a few times when a stranger has given up their seat on the bus (very rare) or held a door open for me (though it is more likely to be me holding a door open for them).  Rather sad really.  Therefore, I’m going to turn this on its head to write about the UNkindness of strangers and not to me but to someone else.

Yesterday, I wrote about Conchita Wurst (affectionately known as “the bearded lady”) who won the Eurovision Song Contest.  While I don’t think her song was the best, I was pleased she won because her song, “Rise Like a Phoenix”, is an anthem for people who have suffered from discrimination, who struggle with their identity or who are just different and she is challenging people’s prejudice and intolerance.  The Eurovision Song Contest hasn’t really been a song contest for a very long time, it is now all about politics.  People in the audience booed the Russian entry which was unfair on the 17-year-old twin girls who were representing them but was understandable.  Conchita Wurst had a lot of top marks from the other countries which was awesome as a show of tolerance from the European people.  I was proud that the UK also gave her top marks.  She was very moved by the support.  She is only 25 and I think she was extremely brave to appear on an international stage where she opened herself up to the possibility of ridicule and abuse.  As far as I am aware, she is a drag queen, not a transgender person, but she is still representing people who are in the minority, who suffer discrimination and who are victimised because they are different.  I think she looks stunning even with the beard – she has beautiful eyes and a lovely smile.

After the general outpouring of love towards her during the final last night, I was very disappointed to read comments from the UK public that were not only intolerant but were suggesting violence towards her (partly in the guise of a very poor joke).  As far as I am concerned, this is unacceptable and I have actually complained to the website for allowing comments like that (something I’ve never done before despite the general nasty comments that often rear their ugly heads on that particular site).  I’m proud to be English but people like that make me ashamed.  This brings me on to another point that I wish to make as there may have been some misunderstanding of other things I have posted…

I am proud to be English and I don’t believe that other countries should be allowed to make laws for us – see A Protest Poem – Get Us Out of the EU! (Give Us a Referendum) – but I am not racist.  When I was at primary school, my best friend was Turkish.  When I started secondary school, my best friend was Indian.  I’ve been friends with black people, Asian people and mixed race people.  I was the assistant of, and friends with, a lovely black lady for over a year when I lived in London.  What I object to is being forced to allow anyone and everyone (at least from other EU member countries) into our country when we are a small island and we already have too many people.  The U.S.A., Canada and Australia (to name a few) have restrictions about who is allowed into their countries but we have been told by the EU who we have to allow into our country.  I object to people from other countries crossing several countries in Europe and then crossing the English Channel to come to our country to get our benefits.  If they are people who are genuinely in need of course we should help but if they are trying to escape a dangerous situation in their own country surely they would be happy to settle in one of the other countries they pass through to reach us?  I object to hard-working taxpayers in this country having to pay benefits to people who have come here and are claiming benefits for their families who are living in another country particularly when disability benefits to people who are in great need here are being cut or stopped completely because there is not enough money for everything.  I object to paying £55 million a day for the privilege of having people from Europe, not Britain, making the laws of my country when this money could go to helping people who are genuinely in need of benefits and creating new jobs.  I do not wish harm to anyone from any race or religion that is different from mine.  I just hate unfairness.  I hope that clears up my position.

As the main focus of this post has been the unkindness of strangers to Conchita Wurst, I would normally post a photo of her but I did that yesterday so here is a photo of one of my oil paintings instead.  It has two seagulls on it and they are symbols of freedom for me so it seems an appropriate painting as we should all be free to be ourselves (however odd we may seem to others), provided we are not harming people or animals.

Copyright Lynne Lawer.

Copyright Lynne Lawer.




12 thoughts on “The UNkindness of Strangers

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  6. Wonderful post. I’m saddened when I see people post unkind things, as well–especially when they make reference to the way a person looks or lives. Conchita is hurting no one and is trying to live her life in a way that makes her fulfilled. I like your painting! 🙂


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  8. I find myself heartened by those acts of kindness which are acts of restraint. The acts of tolerance, patience, courtesy and refusal to steal, be maliscious or belligerent. We are surrounded by them all the time but they are thankfully so commonplace as to be unnoticed.

    The nasty shows itself too readily. The benign is modest. It is all more extraordinary to think that, born into a world that is harsh, so many still opt for “live and let live”. It keeps on being born and overall is indomitable. History shows what the winning side will be. Have a happy day. 🙂


  9. Yes Graham, you’re right. It is a shame the kind acts go unnoticed. Maybe we should make a point of looking out for them.

    Your new blog looks interesting. I hope you enjoy writing it.

    You have a happy day too. 🙂


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