Normally, when I'm out for a walk, saying hello to passersby doesn't get too much of a response. Most people pretend they didn't hear or give a grunt at best, with only the occasional fellow walker responding. I've often thought this a sad reflection of a society in which people live in fear of those they do not personally know.
This morning I was feeling the cold, didn't want to put the heating on, and so put on my beautiful rainbow striped jumper. I still had it on when I set out for my walk this afternoon. I stopped to talk to a passing dog and his owner said hello and discussed his sore paw. She then said, a bit shyly, that she liked my jumper.
A little further on, I met up with two young girls returning from school with their mother. As they approached, the girls both enthusiastically said hello. One then said "cool jumper!" and she watched me as I went past. A bit closer to home, two teenage lads were walking their dog and they both greeted me.
I was, quite frankly, surprised at the attention and the reactions of people. I don't think I changed anything in the way I approached or greeted people on my walk today, but somehow a rainbow-coloured sweater broke down barriers. Did the bright colours touch a little child within them that instinctively had them responding to a stranger? Did I seem less threatening to them, simply because of my attire?
If this is the case, maybe we all need to be knitting rainbow jumpers for our politicians and policy makers. Maybe, if they all wore them when considering actions such as war or refugee status or environmental issues, they would see each other and the leaders of other countries as fellow human beings and we would get some real progress happening. Maybe we could feed the world, house and clothe the poor and share the wealth. Maybe we could stop the damage to our fragile planet and return her to her former glory. Maybe all it will take is a rainbow sweater . . .
love and light