Is the glass half full -or half-empty? Are people generally good -or bad? …
I like to think people are honest, and by nature, good. I’ve certainly had my share of experiences that could jade that outlook but have found that my own state of thought is in a much better place if I stick to my conviction that people are generally and genuinely good.
One of my neighbours (I’ll call him Dan) is one of those truly good people. You can ask him for help or for a favour and not once does he ask why or bat an eye. He is always willing and able to help. Unfortunately, Dan seems to have allowed life to cloud his outlook to some degree. He seems suspicious of strangers and at times even willing to think the worst of his own neighbour(s) ! A rather humourous example of this took place over the last few days.
I’ll try and keep this short but will there are several parts to the story. One of my other neighbours, ‘Gary’, was cleaning out his liquor closet and offered ‘Dan’ the remnants of a bottle of vodka. Dan took it gratefully but decided he didn’t like the taste and set it aside. Shortly thereafter another neighbour happened by, and in the spirit of camaraderie Dan offered the vodka to to this other neighbour, ‘Sabrina’. She added it her glass of juice and didn’t consume more than maybe a glass or so when she started to sense that something wasn’t quite right with the taste. After commenting on the taste, both Dan and Sabrina decided to smell the alcohol, and decided that it smelled nothing like vodka!
Dan could only think the worst at this point. He became convinced that his neighbour, Gary must have intended death by poisoning for Dan and as fate would have it, the deadly poison was given to an unintended, poor Sabrina. He told Sabrina of his fear and she instantly fell prey to Dan’s conviction of ill-intent by Gary. Sabrina rushed to confront Gary, angrily demanding with fist raised, that he come clean and tell them what toxin he was passing off as Vodka. He swore that it was nothing more than Vodka which he had received from someone else over 10 years ago.
Dan found himself consumed with his conviction that his neighbour Gary must have wanted too poison him.
I was introduced to the whole story with Dan calling out to me and wanting me to smell the liquid in the vodka container. I have to admit it was the worst vodka I had ever smelled but I can’t say that I am an expert. After my obligatory smell of the vodka, Dan promptly informed me that Gary was trying to kill him, and instead, Sabrina had drunk the poison and was off to the emergency room. Dan then qualified his statement and apprehensions, as if trying to convince himself otherwise, ‘well if he had wanted to kill me this would have been a stupid way to go about it’ … ‘everyone would know’.
I have to admit, I could not resist adding to Dan’s apprehensions. I know Gary perfectly well and know him to be an honourable person who just wants to get along with everyone and is meticulously neat and well-organized. He would never do something to spite another person let alone even consider poisoning even his worst enemy let alone a neighbour like Dan who is so harmless and nice.
I also know Dan’s proclivity to thinks the absolute worst. My comeback to Dan, was perhaps mean in light of his fears, but I could not resist, I must admit.
I told Dan that, if in fact his theory were true, regarding Gary’s intent was to poison him then it was an absolutely brilliant plan and not stupid at all. “Just think about it Dan” – “Gary gave the vodka to you with the complete anticipation that you would drink it all yourself and not share it with a soul”. “We all know you partake of a few drinks in the late afternoon and evening so what better way to off you than to give it to you”. “Gary could only anticipate that you would disappear into your boat for an evening of spirits. The catch is, had the plan come to fruition, you would never emerge again!” “It really was the perfect plan Dan! Gary couldn’t possibly have anticipated that you would share it with anyone at all -so it was a plan devised just for you!!”
I then spent the next few minutes reminding Dan that Gary really was not a bad guy and no ill had ever been intended for Dan or anyone else.
Unfortunately, Gary’s intent to be a generous neighbour was not successful in this instance. Dan did agree that it was not in Gary’s nature or intent to do ill to anyone and life has resumed as normal as normal can be in this quaint community.
As for Sabrina, her trip to the emergency room seemed more based on the fear planted by Dan’s assumptions and they could find nothing wrong with her or the sample of vodka she had brought with her to the hospital. She was released within an hour of admission and is alive and well to this day.
Ahhh ..the power the imagination if allowed to run rampantly loose!!!