ON GOODNESS

Most people are fundamentally good. This has become all the more evident to me as I observe how random strangers interact with my 94-year old father. They invariably go out of their way to be of assistance, to make way to put the “other” first. The other day someone saw him standing outside of Walmart and offered him their cell phone to place a call. I see it when riding public transport in Toronto, where the younger will rise to offer their seats to the elderly and the infirm. I saw it in Geneva where I was constantly impressed by the courtesy of young people, contrary to the broad-stroke brush we use when describing their generation as spoiled and self-centred. We see it in people rushing to the aid of those who are the victims of accidents or disasters, those who are on the verge of commiting suicide, those struggling to make ends meet. There is a lot of kindness out there. It always brings to mind this statement from the Bahá’í Writings: “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.” Perhaps we need to pat ourselves on the back a little more often and give credit, where credit is due, to the millions of self-sacrificing parents, the armies of committed teachers, the legions of dedicated public servants and average Janes and Joes who actually give a damn. As a human race we will make it through this very choppy phase in our collective evolution. I want to believe that.

#good #goodness