Compassion is a funny thing isn't it? Human emotions are complicated and difficult to understand; sometimes we can barely understand ourselves, let alone others. Motivations and reasons behind our actions and behaviours and responses can intersect, and finding the true root of a problem can seem impossible at times. Often, it isn't the answer we expect.
There has been a lot written about happiness in the workplace recently - what it does for efficiencies, productivity, staff retention and loyalty. So I am not being entirely altruistic. I think if I succeed in creating a happy company I will probably deliver against the 'harder' objectives I get set every year far more easily.
This is by no means an isolated incident. In 2000, 58 Chinese people were found dead in a lorry in Dover. In 2002 two young Ghanaian boys were found dead in the undercarriage of a plane. It was only on Monday that police rescued 20 victims of trafficking in Northern Island who were probably being exploited as low paid workers in the food industry.
Couples are frequently talking about entirely different events while discussing the same event. Or they will identify qualities within a person like "She was so angry with me" and as I was sitting right there I could see that it was not happening that way. Allowing for my own warped sense of reality I am often amazed at those inconsistencies within an interaction between seemingly rational people.
Everyone has a different relationship with their home town, both growing up and as adults. Some can't wait to escape, others never want to leave. We all lead our own lives and must make these decisions for ourselves, so I would never judge someone for doing what makes them happy. But our home towns are just one tiny corner of a large planet, which has a whole lot of stuff to offer.
Albertina- this gentle pensioner had recently lost two grandchildren- one in a road accident and the other from a heart attack. She had just returned from comforting her daughter who is 'coping' with the loss of her two children. Albertina is teaching herself French to take her mind off her lost grand kids...