Monday, 21 July 2014

The world is full of decent people!

Hello everyone,

I have just come home from a day of Sign2Music Teddy Bears Picnics and decided to write a post. I was shocked to realise that it has been over a year since I last wrote a blog post! I think I might need to write another few posts about the events of the past year, but for this post I will focus on a life lesson I learned while preparing for Saturday's Sign2Music Teddy Bears Picnics. Contrary to public opinion, the world is actually full of decent, caring and helpful people!

Like a lot of people, I use social media, watch the news occasionally, read newspapers and chat to friends, colleagues and acquaintances. There is so much negativity out there and stories showing just how much human beings can hurt each other, that sometimes make you begin to doubt the innate goodness of humankind. It's a subtle thing, there is no sudden realisation that people aren't as caring as you thought they were, but gradually as you see more and more evidence of the selfishness of humankind you just expect less from people and start to accept that perhaps everyone is essentially selfish.

If anyone reading this knows me well, they will realise that I am a perfectionist and a little bit of a control freak. I have been planning Teddy Bears Picnics for 19th July in Ballynahinch and Newcastle since June. I planned these for weeks beforehand, because I wanted them to be a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone. I decided I wanted to give the children party bags, with personalised bubbles and teddy bear themed snacks. I ordered 50 plain white party bags off ebay. 2 days before the party I was finishing off the party bags and realised I seemed to have a lot of stuff left over. I counted the party bags and realised I had only been sent 40. It was 11.30pm on Thursday night and the parties were on Saturday. It was too late to contact the ebay seller as, even if they were posted the following day, the bags would not arrive until Saturday, which would be too late!

I scratched my head quietly pondered what to do next. OK, truth is my pondering was not very quiet, more like flipping my lid and running about the room like a headless chicken, shouting about how the party was going to be ruined and the children disappointed! As a long shot, I posted on Facebook to see if anyone knew where I could get these bags at short notice, not expecting much. I got replies immediately from 3 people who had 10 bags they were willing to give me, 2 of these people I know well as they attend my classes, the third I know of as he has an electrical shop not far from me. Dr Electric sent me a message to say he had 10 bags that could pick up that night if I wanted them. By this stage it was almost midnight, but he met me at his house and gave me the bags I needed. He didn't ask for money. He didn't ask for anything. All he was doing was helping out a practical stranger. I was moved by this act of kindness from someone I had never met before.

After our teddy bears picnic, we have a cuppa and snacks for the adults and snacks for the children. I had mentioned to Lily, my child minder, that I was finding it difficult to find biscuits or buns that are nut free. I am not a great cook, but my daughters and I made some buns and bought some nut free food. The night before the party Lily arrived at my house unexpectedly with big tray with a selection of shortbread and cookies, all nut free. Another act of kindness and selflessness.

The parties went really well and we had such a fun day. Every child left with a party bag and we had more than enough yummy goodies for our tea afterwards.

I want to take the opportunity to thank all those who came to my Sign2Music Teddy Bears Picnics in Newcastle and Ballynahinch and helped make them so enjoyable. Particular thanks to Dr Electric and Lily for their selfless acts, that not only helped make the events happen, but restored my faith in the human nature!

Deirdre :)