Today I was supposed toUnfortunately, one of the features of being Kathryn is that I almost never have useful cash to hand (I'm the one who was offered £1 by a "Big Issue" seller a couple of years ago, when I discovered, on opening my purse to pay for the magazine, 1 button, 2 Danish ore and a paperclip) and though I fully intended to engage, the only £1 I had was needed for parking...So that's an action for another day (probably next time I brave a supermarket).
Leave a £1 coin in the shopping trolley, or where someone will find it
However, I was privileged to witness 2 not unrelated acts by someone with whom I spent time today. One was the hiding of a small coin in a cranny on an historic building - just for fun, so that when members of his family visit there in years to come, they'll have the challenge of finding the not-quite-buried-not-quite-treasure. The other was his decision to pick up the bill for the young student couple we'd rather encroached upon when we settled in a cafe for tea. The look of confused pleasure on their faces was quite wonderful.
Why, oh why, does the habit of mind that developed with relative poverty take so much shifting?
I'd love to be the sort of person that could do that sort of thing comfortably, joyfully - but though it would no longer break the GoodinParts bank if I did, the anxiety program still runs very effectively as a barrier to such random acts of generosity.
But it was lovely to eavesdrop on one, as it were. And even at my most neurotic, I'm sure I can manage £1, if only I can find one!