Sunday, 13 April 2008

Stark Contrasts

I really love the stark contrast of red against light or dark, always have done. I remember when as an infant in primary school I drew dark red leaves with black veins and outline which brought gasps from my teacher. I love art in any form and have always wanted to write and paint well.

Similarly, I look for the truth, honesty and humour in others and am immediately drawn to them. Last wednesday while working at Chipping Norton for the Green Gym... we were planting in the gardens of St. Mary's Church... I, being of strong build, used my garden fork to dig out the weeds so that others may plant. All went well until tea break when another said, "Isn't that jumper you're wearing too good for this kind of work"? I looked down on my jumper - a relic from the 80's - and replied, " what about my jeans and boots... are they to your approval?" I smiled as I said this, so as to lighten the response. No reply, just smiles from others.

Later, on another patch of ground, I followed a small group with my trusty fork and was about to dig up a clump of weeds, when one of the party shouted at me in militaristic tones, "No, don't do that! This area is to be for naturalisation... we do not want the weeds dug out!!!" Rather taken aback by the abruptness and rudeness of this retort, I left the area and stood with my fork in hand and watched. Walking by, was a man who'd heard the retort and spoke up..."Don't let her talk to you like that... who does she think she is anyway? If I were you I'd go home and sod them all!" I looked at him and smiled, answering, "Yes, I think I may as well go home now." The woman who'd shouted at me looked taken aback. She said, "Umm, sorry for cutting across you." I said nothing, but walked back to the van where I put all the tools. We are all volunteers on the Green Gym, but one or two believe they are better than the rest of us and think that talking in a bullish, commandeering way is how to get things done. How little they know about human beings!

I have volunteered to undertake a Leadership Course, while the woman who domineered the day refused. This speaks volumes about the meaning of leadership.

In my entire working life, I have always been amazed by the ways of other humans in the pursuit of dominance, no matter in what field, and in what little way. I have held many positions which have required leadership, management, empathy, understanding and emotional intelligence... all were difficult. Now, I am battered and bruised by grief, so I don't let other people 'get to me' like they used to. I turn away, or give a humourous response. Am I wrong? If this other person continues to harrass me, then I may just give her a dose of her own medicine and doubly so, because I am able to. Let's hope the situation doesn't arise, because she will find that I am not what I first appear to be.

No comments: