Strolling along the beach I was accosted by a woman, smoke sparking from her ears. As a loner I’m used to such intrusions, fully aware that this would be a one-sided tirade. A spewing of her woes to a complete stranger, her family and friends long since burnt by her toxic vitriol.

Her horrid neighbour, the injustices, the noise, they lived too close, no privacy or room to move … you get the drift. Her constant drone washed over me in waves. I’ve developed the ability to half-listen knowing that this is more tainted by dark hatred then light love. This skill allows me to intercede with the odd inane comment or question often trampled over as the lava pours forth unchecked, my presence quite irrelevant to the process.

Forty minutes later as we approached the car park she suddenly realised that I was still walking beside her, still listening. As an afterthought she suddenly included me by asking “but you don’t know my neighbourhood do you?” I can’t lie, so I confessed that I had been a neighbour living further up the same street but never turned into her estate.

More than a year later I finally visited her estate and my tour highlighted that every house stands on 2-5 acres. Hardly on top of each other as she had led me to believe. So I can only conclude that, when blighted by such loathing, the fact that the culprit simply lives and breathes causes too much pain.

Every encounter teaches me something so I will always listen but that doesn’t mean I agree. Tolerance, love and gratitude are such a blessing … I pray that we all learn their true value for peace and contentment to lighten our loads, to flood our lives with warm sunshine!


  1. Kate I’m sad that you were the recipient of her negativity. Some people are only happy when they have something to complain about!! And the more privileged the more the complaints!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • like water off a duck’s back to me Val, when a total stranger approaches me on a beach walk it’s usually to have a whinge … you could be right about that correlation!


  2. You were exceptionally tolerant and kind, Kate … and I wonder if she realised that, or whether she was too preoccupied shadow boxing with her own imagined issues …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, so true!
    I often think about the fact that we listen and we either learn…or by listening we teach the other person, who is talking, that they can’t say “no one ever listens to me”! ’cause we just did! 😉
    You are a brilliant shining example, SweetKate, of kindness, forbearance, and wisdom!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    ☮❤️☮ ❤️☮

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks kind friend, I am getting rather embarrassed by all this praise, the post is supposed to be drawing attention to the harms of negative speech and self-absorption …


  4. Some people just vent for the sake of venting. Maybe it gives them relief, but it doesn’t negate the effect of their negativity

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You were very kind to listen to that woman as she ranted, even if you were wise enough not to give her your full attention. That protected you, and also let her vent. I hope that she is able to let go of her anger someday, because that’s no way to live. I think some people have so much aggression and anger in them and they are just looking for a target for it. Far better to figure out where that negativity is coming from and to try to heal…….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All of us are not equipped to help everyone we come across. But carrying so much dislike/hatred is detrimental to mental as well as physical health. Venting can at times be healing. But some people do it constantly and it becomes a way of life for them. Poor souls!

    Liked by 1 person

    • this kind of encounter has been regular throughout my life Richard, I learnt at a very young age not to buy into others problems and let’s face it many just like the drama of it all 🙂


  7. “Every encounter teaches me something so I will always listen but that doesn’t mean I agree”.. this is so true Kate. I too make sure to listen but doesn’t always follow that i agreee.

    Liked by 1 person

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