By Mamuka Badridze,
Consultant in Positive Psychotherapy
In the center of Tbilisi, on the opposite side of Tbilisi State University, at the intersection of several roads, there is a pedestrian crossing to help pedestrians cross the narrow, but busy street safely. About 25 years ago, that crossing was “controlled” by a long bearded man nicknamed Castro.
He was a tall and broad-shouldered man of about fifty, who usually wore a khaki military shirt and looked very much like Fidel Castro. Unlike the Cuban dictator, that man did not smoke cigars and was single and lonely. Nobody knew what his real name was, where he lived or whether he had his own home at all.
Castro was very aggressive, especially towards the car drivers and young female pedestrians. The drivers, offended by his swearwords and insults, used to roll up their car windows; and the girls, fearing the impending attacks, dashed across the street.
He had received many warnings from police, they even took him to the police station several times, but he always came back.
Castro took a special dislike to a young female student living in the five-floor house near the pedestrian cross. Every time he saw her hurrying off to lectures at half past eight in the morning, he yelled so loudly that brought the object of his anger to tears.
This became so unbearable that the girl started to seek for roundabout ways to university to dodge the outrageous stranger. However, meeting him was impossible to avoid altogether.
Once the girl was crossing the street accompanied by her father. She had never told him about her problem, because she was afraid that the terrible man might offend him too and a conflict would occur between them. Seeing the girl, the man opened his mouth to shout, but at that time, her father greeted him cordially as usual. The aggressor froze and blushed with embarrassment, then timidly greeted the man back.
From that day onwards, Castro’s behavior changed. He would occasionally shout something to drivers, but was not hostile anymore; he no longer paid much attention to passers-by and patiently waited for the girl, the good man’s daughter, to greet her with great respect…