There are times, there are many times, when it seems like the world is full of selfish, self-absorbed, disinterested people who have no desire to help a stranger. You follow your social media and feel like you are surrounded by particularly anti-social badgers intent on biting, bruising, scraping everyone around them. You read and hear thoughtless jokes being dropped at the expense of the powerless. Exposed to all this it can be easy to lose hope, and then people surprise you.
Every once in a while you get to read a story that restores your faith in humanity. Some may resort to name calling when we post these stories, accusing us of being Polly Anna’s but I am OK with that. I would rather have hope for my fellow travelers. These stories come out of the blue and remind us that people are not by their natures needlessly brutal and apathetic. There are folks that care. There are so very many people willing up to light a candle against the dark. I have two such examples to share with you today.
First are the actual people of Florence, Colorado. For the past few weeks much buzz has been heard on the internet of the Pacific Justice Institute’s targeting of a trans woman attending the high school there. Of course there is plenty to be upset about in all of this, but the truly wonderful this is her fellow students have been standing up for her. Town residents have been decrying PJI as trouble makers, bigots, and outside agitators and even calling them out for not being very good Christians. If you go to the bottom third of this article (the top two-thirds goes into detail all of PJI’s ugliness in this case) you can see some beautiful responses by beautiful people.
Then there is the story of Darnell Barton. The Buffalo bus driver could have simply called in that there was a jumper on his route and gone about his business. Instead his compassion for the woman ready to take her life and for the students in his care drove him to get out of the bus and help her. He asked for no accolades and indeed focuses his attention on being impressed with the behavior of the young people around him. His humility and decency are an example to us all, and proof for me.
Both of these stories are proof that deep down, we are good. We want to do the right thing. We are surrounded by so many temptations to do wrong, and by so many barriers to doing right. We do it though. We can get past our baser selves and reach to the truly great creatures we are. I believe we all want to be good. We all want to be the folks of Florence, Colorado and Darnell Barton. We want to feel that love we have for our fellow man, and to feel it returned in kind. I am confident that we have it in us to build that kinder, safer, saner world I am always on about, and grow more so every time I read these stories. You are all wonderful, when you allow yourselves to be, and I am proud, every so often, to share a genome, and a world with you.
- Compassion: The Glue That Holds Us Together (princessofthelight.wordpress.com)
- How Can I Actually Help? (elephantjournal.com)
- Appreciate Goodness (shivshankardaily.wordpress.com)
- The 4 KEYS to Happiness (allisonwaguespack.com)