When presented with a particular situation, we are all guilty of falling into the trap – the trap that leads to conclusions.
whether it comes from a lack of care or an excess of unintentional arrogance, the end result is the same: we make the assumption that what we get is what we see, in no way detract from the fact that there are cases where nothing can be further from the truth. .
It’s a wake-up call when that happens, when the reality is revealed. Sometimes that revelation delivers such a lousy punch that you’re momentarily left mentally. The reality of what you witnessed stays with you, lingering in your head for days afterward.
This is what happened to me three days ago.
It was a cold but clear morning in Venice when I started walking my dog, one of those days worth living when all is well with the world. Around the city, I walked around until an hour later I climbed the steps of the Scalzi Bridge.
At the top of this bridge, tourists often linger to admire the majestic view of the Grand Canal before it curves and heads towards St Mark’s. I stopped there on Monday, jostling in a carefully Covid-style way in front of a few small groups that had gathered there.
As I watched the scene, I felt a tap on my arm and turned to find a little girl, seven or eight years old, pointing at my dog and indicating that she wanted to pet him. Is that okay, her mother, a beautiful dark-haired woman, wanted to know. Of course, I said, and the child knelt down, gathered my dog close to hers, and began petting him, over and over, enjoying his licks and excited play during as her mother looked on, we both smiled now with uncontrollable joy. of both children and dogs.
In the end, since they showed no sign of going on, I was told that I had to leave. Having come across a few words of their conversation that I don’t understand, I wish them a happy holiday in Venice. Turning my back to leave, and almost as an afterthought, I asked where they were from.
The mother looked at me in silence for a moment, then quietly said one word: “Ukraine.”
Speaking of shock. I reached over and touched her arm, telling her how sorry I was to her and her country, that I came from Ireland and that my country stood by her side. . Is she okay, I asked, noticing for the first time that a very old couple was waiting for the woman and the child.
They are the child’s grandparents and they look – unlike their daughters and granddaughters – not like tourists. Sadly, they look exactly like the bewildered refugees they really are.
The child’s mother said that they were going to France. She speaks French and feels she can make a living there.
Wishing her luck and feeling humbled by my brief encounter, I turned away and went back to my comfortable life.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/chance-meeting-with-displaced-ukrainians-was-deeply-humbling-41429750.html The opportunity to meet with displaced Ukrainians was very modest