Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thursday's Children - People

I'd originally planned for a much different post today, but the events on Monday in Boston have pushed that post back a while.

I'm frequently accused of being a bit of a Pollyanna. But ultimately, I believe that people are good. I'm occasionally proved wrong in epic fashion, but nine times out of ten, I'm right. I see it all the time.

I've seen my former daycare kids come home from school carrying trash to throw away because, "That crap doesn't belong in nature!"

I've had taller people reach things down for me off the shelves in the grocery store because I'm short and have T-Rex arms.

I've seen a woman at the grocery store help out a young mother in front of her because she didn't have enough money.

I've had my coffee paid for at Starbucks by the person in front of me and I've passed it on.

I've seen teenagers buy a hot meal for a homeless man  at McDonald's.

There was the man who took care of my brother when his wife was admitted to the hospital - not a staff member, just a kind soul with a relative there.

I've watched my child roll down the car window and hand over his birthday cash to a homeless man.

And this week, we saw people running into danger to offer medical assistance. We saw people opening their homes to strangers. We saw people caring about each other.

The sick, hate-fill people make the news, but it's the kind people - the ones run after you to give you your keys, or the shoe your infant kicked off while you were carrying his car seat across the parking lot. They're the ones who smile in support when your toddler is having a tantrum about wanting a baseball team. They're the ones who rip off their own clothes to make tourniquets and bandages and offer comfort.

These are the people that inspire me. These are the people who make me want to spread kindness like it's a damn virus. These are the people who make me want to write things that matter and offer comfort and understanding with the written word as well as in my everyday life.

I'll leave you with a quote by Patton Oswalt. You may very well have seen it already, but if not:

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."

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  1. I feel the same way (as you'll see from the intro to my post). Boston was my home for over ten years and it's a great city in so many ways. I've had friends and family run the marathon. It hit pretty close to home, in other words. But what hit closest is the death of a child. That trumps geography every time.

  2. Great post, amazing quote. Well said. And, I like Pollyanna ;)

  3. I loved Patton's post. And tonight, watching the tribute at the top of the Bruins game, seeing entire T.D. Garden sing along to the national anthem, was proof positive that there's nothing pollyanna about your beliefs. Great post. It's been a heavy week but this is what we all need to take home with us.
    ~Dannie @ Left to Write

  4. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous post. I don't even know waht else to say. Thank you.

  5. I agree there are more good people in the world. I am constantly amazed at the kindness of strangers and the willingness of people to help. It's so good to remember this when we're faced with such pointless destruction.

  6. Wonderful post. It's so important to remember there are a lot of good people in the world, especially when the monsters are so visible.

  7. This is the 2nd post today to remind me that humanity is worth it, and I thank you. My motto is Be Kind, Find Peace, Give Love (and read books)...I usually keep the read books part off, but really, reading is what helps us understand other people better, relate to other people far away or from different cultures...reading we can do with our own filters on, instead of the Media's.
    So, I hope you will write stories about kindness and continue to be inspired by the humanity out there who are worth it. :)

  8. Very true, thank you for sharing this- we need to read posts like this.

  9. Great point. It may seem like people are no good (remember that driver that cut you off? Or that cashier who gave you lip?)... BUT, the majority of the people around us are kind-hearted and friendly. We just have to look a little more closely.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Hey Chris, I think the world needs more Polyannas, especially weeks like this week. Thanks for sharing!

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