They are both ugly, out-of-control things that prevent their host from attaining perfection.
But that’s where the similarities end.
Dirt is temporary, transient stuff that only needs some effort and, possibly, cleaning products to shift.
Stains have resisted all attempts to be scrubbed, bleached or soaked out of existence. They are permanent.
It’s possible dirt harbours germs and might even allow itself to spread to spoil other things.
Stains have been cleaned so much they won’t do you any harm, they might, however, tell you a story.
The hard bit is knowing which of the smears and scars are temporary and dirty and which are going to be there forever.
Because what matters most is your attitude. If it’s only dirt, then fling yourself into your efforts to wipe it away. But if it’s a stain then all you can do is change the way you think about it.
You’re stuck with a stain so you may as well get comfortable with it, remember the story it tells you and appreciate that it actually makes the thing it lives on more special. With enough effort you might even learn to love it. It’s a memento of the person who created it, a badge of frugal and eco-friendly living and a celebration that you own something unique.
I’m blessed to have quite so many around me and here are a few of my favourites: