Lessons on Moving, Music and Making Houmous

Who knew what they’d teach about being human?

You never know what you might discover on an ordinary Thursday. Here’s what I wrote down at the end of the day.

Let me explain.

1. Ask for boxes

Given I was about to move home, I needed cardboard boxes. Someone suggested that I ask for spare boxes from local shops.

I did, and what I found made me surprisingly happy.

Despite the reputation that Londoners have for maintaining a polite distance, almost every staff member I asked wanted to help out, even when they were busy. A manager at Primark interrupted her stock check to explain that I could come back in a few days and would be likely to get some boxes then. When I returned, I found a loading bay filled with literally thousands of boxes (sadly, they wouldn’t give me any due to regulations that the boxes had to be recycled, but the irony of the situation is a story for another day).

I was amazed at how many people took the time to check their stock room, let me know when would be a better time to return, or simply said ‘of course’ and gave me a box right then and there. A friendly staff member at a store called Menkind found me a couple of boxes, chatted to me about moving the difficulties of moving in London and ended up going back into the stock room to find me another set of small boxes ‘which I could put my plates and cutlery in’.

Even in a city like London, no one can go it completely alone.

We need other people. We need to laugh and have honest conversations and connect with those around us.

And more often then we’d like to admit, we need to ask for help.

It can seem sometimes that we live in world in which people only agree to help us if there is something in it for them.

But this is not true.

We all have moments when we are generous and open-hearted and others when we are impatient and angry. When you appeal to someone’s better nature they will often live up to it, or at least try to.

2. Make kidney bean houmous

Let’s be clear: regular houmous is one of the best things around.

But sometimes, sadly, you run out of it, or the entire country does. All you have is a huge quantity of boiled kidney beans left over from a cooking session in which you grossly overestimated how many kidney beans one can eat.

So you go ahead and try to make houmous from kidney beans. This helps you practice the art of creating something interesting from what you already have.

That’s an extremely useful skill.

You may find, as I did, that kidney bean houmous is not that great. But you might (as I also did) have fun in the process and feel the satisfaction of trying something new and different.

3. Play a background score

Music is like houmous for the soul.

When you’re down, it helps you to put things in perspective and feel better.

When you’re already in a good mood, the right song can help you feel great.

Sometimes I wish we had a way to play a background score whenever we want, the way movie characters do.

And then I remind myself that we do. It’s called a pair of headphones.

It’s also called using your own voice to sing out loud, despite the annoyance of those around you.

Cheers to the little things that make life more enjoyable!

To read more of my articles please visit my articles page

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