I live in a predominantly South African neighbourhood. Most of them are really nice, except the one whose daughter and son were/are classmates of my children and lives closest to me. She works in the local supermarket and always gives me a dose of her horrible ‘nose up in the air’ attitude. I have known her since I came to Australia and learned to ignore her arrogance and obvious hatred for the coloured! ( She will not even let her children play with mine.)
Few days ago, as I was driving out to the main road, I noticed that water was flowing from her storm drain on to the road. She must be cleaning her swimming pool, so I thought. I got back home pretty late in the evening that day and only remembered to check for mail in my letter box while cooking the dinner. My house is the last house in the street and while getting the letters from the mail box, I noticed that water is still flowing in to the storm drain outlet near the end of my property. It occurred to me that it doesn’t take all day to empty the pool and that there must be a massive water leak in ‘our’ friend’s house and she doesn’t know about it.
Water is extremely expensive here. The council in their quest to make quick bucks have decided to charge exorbitant amount of money for water and then claim that they are doing so, because of the constant drought and need to force the people to save water! I don’t waste a drop of water, yet I pay 300$/quarter.
I changed my clothes, walked the 1.5 km to her house and knocked at the door. She opened the door ( just the door, not the security grill), looked at me rudely and said
I told her ,” There is water flowing from your storm drain to the road, I think you have a burst pipe”. She said “ok” and closed the door on my face.
I was so angry with the way she treated me. I was doing her a favour. Saving her from paying a huge water bill. I was fuming the walk back home and I said aloud as I entered my house
“Jeez, she is so effing rude, I am never going to tell her if the water is leaking again”
My youngest was in the living room and replied
“mom, just because she is rude doesn’t mean you have to be rude as well”
The thing is, this was the lesson I taught my kids from the time when they were little.
“Just because, your sister/brother is mean, doesn’t mean that you have to be mean” or “just because they did ‘whatever’ doesn’t mean that you have to do the same”
Sometimes, I ought to remember to practice what I preach.