Katie Cutler, an example to us all


Since I’ve been unwell, the quality of my writing has nose-dived as sharply as a marauding Stuka whose pilot has just spotted a column of helpless refugees on an open, undefended road beneath him. As a result, the traffic to this, my (temporary) site is minimal and there’s no point in me trying to pretend otherwise, because this is just one of life’s realities.

Last night, I noticed that a fund had been set up for Katie Cutler, to pay for a holiday for her and to recognise her warm heart for the way she helped out the disabled pensioner Alan Barnes, who had been attacked outside his home by some particularly cowardly pondlife. By the time I looked at the Go Fund Me page for Katie, which had been set up by Catherine Kirkley, Katie Cutler had left a comment saying she didn’t deserve or want any money, so as she was obviously embarrassed, I thought I’d post something on the page to reassure her. Tens of thousands of other people have rightly praised her to the skies, so I just tried my best to write something that would encapsulate these warm feelings in the hope that she’d see it and not feel embarrassed or guilty in any way.

To my amazement, I learned earlier today that I’ve been quoted at length in an article about Alan Barnes and Katie Cutler in the Daily Mail, so as their story is such a high profile one, I would guess that millions of people from around the world have read it, with more to come. I’m described in the article as a donor, but the simple truth is that I didn’t give any money to the fund because I’m broke, so I happily gave up some of my time instead and I’m very glad I did.

I personally think that Katie deserves every recognition and honour for what she did and if it’s not immediately obvious, this is why: I’ve benefited from the kindness of others on innumerable occasions, whether that came in the form of a kind word, a thoughtful gift or else a few quid when I needed it, so my gratitude to all these people knows no bounds and I try my level best to repay them by paying it forward in some way.

The other reason is that if more strangers were kind to others they’ve never met, our planet would be a considerably less shitty and uninviting place than it is now. Thankfully, the world is full of such people, so I think the way forward is to try to recognise them, whoever they might be and wherever they might live, to add to the sum total of joy and love in the world, because these are obviously qualities our souls yearn for.

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