When we took a trip to make deliveries to a neighbouring town, we stopped in at a shop owned by people who always come and say hello when they’re in our area. The couple recently became parents for the first time. I enquired about the baby as I hadn’t seen her yet. Her father indicated that she was sleeping behind the counter. Because I just can’t resist babies I went behind that counter and there she was fast asleep on a little mattress on the floor covered by a big fluffy blanket. I touched her hand and she woke up. My first thought was that because I had startled her she would start crying. Well, wasn’t that what I would do if I was woken up and a stranger was staring down at me? She opened her huge brown eyes, looked at me and gave me the most beautiful smile! I was so amazed. And she continued to smile.
It was such a humbling experience. I was just so filled with love at that moment. This little person who is only four months old didn’t ask any questions. She didn’t mind what political party I voted for; she didn’t care what my skin colour was; she didn’t mind what religion I claimed to follow; she didn’t try to ascertain whether I was straight or gay; my bank balance and the friends I hang out with wasn’t her problem. She saw a fellow human being and she smiled. How many of us can do that? Which of us can unconditionally hand out smiles and expect nothing in return? Are we capable of taking people at face value – maybe even something beyond face value, because if your face is scared and your clothes are ragged you would be considered “different”. I learned a great big lesson from a four month old infant.
Let me share a recipe I made the other night. I used a food processor to chop 1 small head of cauliflower into grains (cauliflower rice), I added some fried rashers of bacon and onion, and three eggs and mixed it all together. Next I added tapioca flour to make a stiff mixture and flavoured with parsley, salt and pepper. Drop spoons full into a deep fryer and fry till golden brown. Crisp and delicious! I think next time I’ll add some fried mushrooms as well.
Everything we do is based on decisions. Sometimes we make the decisions, and sometimes other people do. Every action has a reaction or a consequence. My decision for this week is to see people in a different light. To try to see them without prejudice and without any preconceived ideas. I will try to be like that baby and smile.