For some years now there’s been a stooped, gloomy looking old woman walking past my house once a day. She’s always dressed the same in a way that’s odd by most standards, and she never speaks to anyone.
Without having any real reason, I slowly developed an “instinctive” dislike of her. I say “instinctive” because there was no real conscious reason for it. This feeling puzzled me, as I like to know how and why my mind works.
Lately when I’ve seen her I’ve thought about how hysterical people in the old days – people certainly not like me! – would scapegoat old women, call them witches, persecute them, even kill them when times were bad. I thought that if things ever got really bad here, the neighbors (hopefully not me!) would attack this funny old lady.
Today she stopped as she was walking by, smiled, and asked me how my daughter Cindy was doing!
The instant she smiled and spoke, obviously knowing and caring about my daughter, my whole perception of her was transformed. She was just an old lady, probably tired from walking up the hill, with a funny sense of fashion, but certainly not ugly or an old witch!
It amazes me how quickly a perception can change. For the better, thank goodness!