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Letters / Be kind

Friday was tough.

The boats were cancelled meaning the weather was pretty wild, but life goes on and I had errands to run.

Pootling around the supermarket, trying to muster meals from the bits and pieces available. Trying to gather cold/flu meds for my rarely sick husband, navigating the shelves for products I couldn’t reach without asking a kindly stranger to help, and basically just trying to get stuff done.

In all this I’m also on my phone, trying to help out pals who needed me to pick up groceries and some tickets for a gig to pick up. Busy busy and you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing particularly special, difficult or gruelling about any of this.

BUT, the whole time I was being followed, laughed and jeered at by a couple of teen girls. There were others too. But all old enough to know better.  I’m in my forties and I’ve had worse but some days it’s intimidating and just a bit too much to tolerate.

One of the reasons I was attracted to moving up to Shetland over three years ago was because of the decency and kindness of folk up here. But I can see with some of our younger generation that this is slipping.

I have dwarfism and I also have a sense of humour. But there’s a difference between humour and cruelty.

If you’re lucky enough to have children, please educate them to be kind, and respectful of people of difference doing no harm to others just trying to get on with their business.

Gillian Martin


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