There was a story told once, about a man who only had one wish, and that was to stand in the middle of a small village. The man wore a suit as he felt it reflected respect and it would keep him warm or cool depending on the weather.
The man chose the very centre of the village, and there he marked a cross. He had one last drink and one last sandwich and then he stood very still in the middle of it all.
An old lady passed him first and wondered if perhaps he could help her carry her goods home. When the man did not react, the woman ‘tutted’ and then walked away.
A man from the parish council passed by and asked the still man if he had permission to stand in such a way. Had he asked the parish council? When the man didn’t answer, the parish councillor made a note to bring the man up at the next meeting.
One young artistic lady, felt that the man was making a political point by showing the futility of life by standing in such a manner. She kissed him on the cheek, then hurried to catch her train.
A small boy and his mother wondered if perhaps the gentleman was only a model and that although life-like, was available to be kicked and hit. This is what they did.
A group of teenagers wondered if the man was crazy and decided to pour some cola over him – and who, by the way didn’t react – so the kids grew bored and moved on.
That night several of the villagers sat outside the pub and discussed the merits of what the man was doing. Some wondered if he was a serial-killer, who would slit all their throats in their sleep. One thought it might be for a bet – but it would have to be a large bet, at that.
One woman felt that maybe the man just wanted to stand in the middle of a village and that was okay by her.
The moral of the story is this, whether you do something you believe to be positive, or negative, or even do nothing at all – in a small village everyone has an opinion on what you do.
bobby stevenson 2017