About restoring faith in humanity
There was a tweet story yesterday about an RJ and a student’s heroic struggle / win against the odds that had people break out the tears and tissues.
Variants of “Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity” flooded the timeline in response.
“I would like to contribute,” said people from far and wide who had nothing to do with the incident.
And yes, these days, every little is desperately needed to restore faith in humanity.
The most heartwarming part for me is not in the applause for the story or in its sharing and spreading. But it’s in strangers contributing to make it bigger, sustainable.
Two other things stand out for me in this story, and in others like it.
Why do we wait for someone else to find these stories and trigger a trickle of good before we can each of us contribute and turn it into a tsunami of goodness?
And, in contrast, why do we not ask “How can I contribute to stopping this?” when we merely profess shock and turn a blind eye to a video or a story about what shatters faith in humanity in the first place?
When was the last time we asked, “Can I contribute to finding a lawyer who will take on the perpetrators of this atrocity against the innocent?”
Why don’t we ask, “What action is being taken against the police and the local, elected leader(s) for their inaction? How can I enable it?”
What prevents us from initiating direct contact with the perpetrators and those with the same mindset to make them see our points of view? Not knowing them personally isn’t really an excuse. After all, we don’t send friend requests to those doing good first and base our contribution to their accepting it and liking our selfies.
There is also another innocuous, daily way of restoring faith in humanity. It’s still practiced by a small but stubborn set of positive people who refuse to buckle under the tidal wave of hate, dogma, bullying and bigotry that seems to pervade most of humanity these days (if you believe social media, at least).
It’s the people creating and sharing cat and dog videos. It’s the people creating and sharing recipes. It’s the people creating and sharing jokes that don’t depend on identity or offense for inducing laughter. It’s the people creating and sharing Bollywood-induced giddiness and kitsch. It’s the people creating and sharing perspectives that respect others’ perspectives, different as they may be from their own. It’s the people creating and sharing slices of life that seem so refreshing in their everydayness against the starkness and darkness of a polarized planet. It’s the people whose timelines — off and on line — are conspicuous by the absence of negativity.
I don’t believe these people are ignoring reality. They just prefer to carve out a positive corner for themselves, filling it with light, lightness and lightheartedness.
I like that corner.