“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
― Fred Rogers
Yesterday three people died and over one hundred were horrifically injured when two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon. I watched the news in shock with my heart racing. I just can’t understand what would make someone feel that an act of terror like this is justifiable.
It seems that every day there’s more and more hurt, pain and bad news. For someone like me, who’s already prone to anxiety and panic, it’s almost enough to make me become a hermit, never leaving the house and relying on Internet shopping to keep my family sustained. I’m not really even kidding.
This morning I had a couple of child-free hours and as I drove to the Westfield shopping centre in East London all I could think of was terror explosions and how one minute you can be going about your business and the next…well, I can’t begin to imagine.
I mean, marathons are charity events. Bombers targeted ordinary, kind and charitable people.
Day after day we hear horrifying stories of pain and devastation all over the world. Each seems worse than the last.
This morning on Facebook someone shared a picture of a man in Boston with most of his leg missing. The image is seared on my brain. You can’t just “un-see” something like that.
It’s almost enough to destroy your faith in human nature altogether.
But where will we be without faith in human nature? What will happen if we all believe that the entire world has gone to shit and that no-one cares any more? That there’s no good left?
We simply cannot let our hearts be hardened by the sadness we see in the world. We can’t just accept that bad stuff happens to good people and do nothing about it. We can’t believe that the human race is tainted by Evil. We can’t let the sadness of an atrocity like yesterday distort our view of humanity.
We (or I) simply must remember that a minuscule fraction of the world’s population are truly evil. But not the majority. If this was not the case, the human race would have destroyed itself thousands of years ago. We never would’ve evolved this far.
Each of us are but one person, but together we’re a force to be reckoned with. In my view, our only option is to Be The Good.
It’s up to us, friends, to put the Good back in to everyday life.
“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do.” – Steve Jobs
You see, we can’t single-handedly stop terrorism, cure cancer or prevent natural disasters. We can’t heal the sick or turn back time. But we can Be The Good. We can love harder for every heart-breaking news story we see. We can be a little bit kinder. We can make charitable donations if possible. We can give blood. We can donate time. We can just be nicer to people. More patient. More friendly. We can smile at strangers and hold open doors. We can let someone in to our lane in traffic. Even pack an old lady’s shopping at the supermarket. Anything really. Any random act of kindness will do. Think of it as killing evil with kindness.
Can you imagine what a difference it would make to humanity if we were all just a bit nicer? Kinder? More loving to our fellow human?
I’ve said before that I believe our children learn more from our behaviour and from watching us interact with the world than they do from any lessons we deliberately try to teach them. It’s up to us as parents and as citizens of the human race to lead by example. Not to let the bad in the world pollute all that is good. To show our children how to put the ‘human’ back in humanity.
If enough people commit to undertaking even the smallest acts of kindness we can collectively help to restore the world’s faith in human nature. Each smile at a stranger could make somebody’s day. It’s as simple as that.
I don’t normally ask this, but I’d really appreciate if you’d share this post. I want as many people as possible to see it. One at a time we can change the world, we really can.
I hereby resolve that for every heart-breaking news story I see, I will try a little bit harder to do good. For every sad article I read I will remember that I may just be one person, but I can change the world, one smile and kind gesture at a time. We all can.
We can, and we must Be The Good.
All pictures credited to the Brave Girls’ Club