Our Impact on others

Waking up this morning, it’s a little hard to believe that I no longer run Canada’s smallest wine bar.

The weekend passed in a flurry of visits from old friends and die-hard bibots. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all the wonderfully kind comments and thoughtful gifts. But it’s got me thinking.

What kind of impact do our lives have on the experiences of others?

I’ve heard a lot of flattering things this week and have tried to accept them without letting my head get too big with praise… but coming home from work last night I made a different kind of impact.

I had left my phone in the car and so after unpacking my gifts I ran out the front door unself-consciously and was approaching my car when a man in a hoodie stepped out from behind the trees. I couldn’t see his face, but my every instinct said,”do not engage” as he walked towards me on the sidewalk.

He said,”Well! This must be meant to be!” What’s your name?” I responded without thinking. “What do you need that for?” and proceeded to get my phone.

He walked away angrily muttering about just trying to be nice and as I pondered the encounter afterwards I thought maybe I was too harsh.

Was I though? I’ve been brought up to be kind to everyone and it is my goal to express kindness always, but at three in the morning on a dark city street with no one else around I just did not engage. My gut said no. I felt no fear. I don’t think the guy was a threat at all but I was tired and did not want to invite any kind of attention from a stranger.

Sitting quietly later, I felt that I’d made a mistake. The guy started out friendly and I shut him down. He walked away angry. If he hadn’t run into me he might have continued on his way in peace.

It’s so easy to be generous in the light of day with lots of people around, but not so easy alone on the street at night and I couldn’t help thinking about what I was wearing (skirt, tank top) and that is troubling too.

I wondered if he realized how the situation felt from my point of view. How would he have wanted his mother or sister to respond in the exact same scenario?

I don’t know. What I do know is that the people I’ve encountered at BiBO over the last years have all had an effect on me and I hope they will give their generosity to the lady replacing me. After all, every encounter is 50/50.

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