A time when you made a decision that was different from those around you …
A decision that most people around me wanted was to stay in the EU and I decided I did not want to.
I decided to leave my job rather than stay and try to make it different from within - I felt isolated and that I was going backwards. I think if I had not taken that step my life would have been very different.
Went to Palestine for a year of my life in my 20’s.
Back in Syria when I was at university the general ‘wisdom’ was that us Lattakians should avoid people from Tartous (neighbouring city) because they ‘hate us’. I have always been someone who enjoyed going against society’s ‘common sense’,so I went out of my way to make as many friends as I could from Tartous. I discovered that actually people from Tartous were also advised to avoid Lattakians because they ‘hate them’ as well. In short we had two groups of people from two cities that are 45 minutes drive away from each other, and who have been told for decades that the others hated them so it became a self fulfilling prophesy! My own lesson that I have learned from this experience is one that has become a motto for me: Common sense is common nonsense!
I once was going home from church when I saw a homeless man, an older guy and he maybe spoke to me I can’t remember. But I went and sat down beside him, instead of giving him money and we were talking. It was hard to have a conversation because he was quite drunk, he kept repeating himself. Then after a while another man came along - younger, stocky, with a booming Scottish voice. And he was shouting at this older guy telling him he owed him money, calling him names, threatening him. And I started to distract this man. I don’t know what I hoped to do, but I stood up and talked to him, asking him questions. I shook his hand. But after a while he would stop talking to me and shout at this man again. And then the old guy stood up, and suddenly the guy hit him hard with the palm of his hand on the side of the head and knocked him to the ground. I tried to stand in inbetween them and get him to calm down but he kept saying he owed him £20 and if he didn’t pay he would kick his head in. And I thought everyone would say giving this guy money was stupid, but I kept thinking that Jesus had paid my debt to save me when I was a mess, much deeper than this old guy. So I paid his debt for him. Later that night I helped the police arrest the Scottish guy and as I told them the story they thought I was very strange. The old guy didn’t press charges I don’t think because the police never called me.