Where’s the spirit?

THREE recent experiences have made me wonder whether the spirit of Christmas is still alive and well. First, the lovely experience of being jostled all morning on a shopping trip to Harrow. Second, watching as everyone ignored the homeless beggar in their

THREE recent experiences have made me wonder whether the spirit of Christmas is still alive and well.

First, the lovely experience of being jostled all morning on a shopping trip to Harrow. Second, watching as everyone ignored the homeless beggar in their rush to secure the presents they wanted and, finally, the experience that put the icing on the cake: we returned to find that a neighbour had refused to take in a small parcel for us because "they didn't know us".

My family would probably tell me it's because we're living in the south but I've never held to that parochial view. In my 20 years of teaching in special education, I've lived in many places, both home and abroad, and find that people are basically the same everywhere.

My profession often brings out the best in people, such as the man at Abbotsley Golf Club who gave us a set of his old clubs recently. Maybe it's just the false expectation generated at Christmas time?


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JERRY HARTLEY

Blackwood Road

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