You see so much death and destruction in the news today. It’s all about the latest storms. The latest tragedies. The latest worries to fill up in your mind in the local news today. We see death and destruction and negativity in the news that sometimes we are programmed to believe that humans are headed for a disaster as a collective race.
So, recently, I read a book called Human Kind, by Brad Aronson. It talks about the goodness in people’s hearts. The kindness that one man found in his friends and total strangers when his wife was going through cancer treatment. It was a tough dark two years of his life, but he was grateful for all the support he got from friends and strangers alike.
I read the book and felt grateful that there is goodness in this world. That there are people out there that want to help and give back. That there is goodness within us all. That the human race is not just a dastardly bunch of people with huge egos that want nothing but the best for themselves.
This book gave me hope for humankind. That there is kindness in everyone’s hearts. That even prisoners and murderers can somehow revamp their image and do good and justness in society today. That everyone deserves a second chance. And that, yes, the kindness of strangers is something that we should not take for granted.
It’s true that everyone does want what’s best for themselves. After all, you only get one life. And sometimes, that can be painted into a selfish nature. As if everyone only cares about their own well-being and nothing else. Even though, yes, it’s important to exhibit self-care, I don’t believe that people only hold their own well-being into account.
Everyone is doing the best given what they have. But, once in awhile, people do step up and give back to the community. Leave a positive impact in this world. You don’t have to be a full-fledged philanthropist like Bill Gates, trying to solve malaria. You don’t need to be a superstar athlete like Kyrie Irving, who donated $323,000 to City Harvest back in March 2020 when the COVID pandemic first burst onto the scene.
You can just do things within your means. Small things that help leave a smile on someone’s face. And things that are within your skill set. If you like writing, maybe consider writing letters to the elderly to give them a smile on their faces. If you like animals, maybe consider volunteering at an animal shelter. If you have experience with children, then perhaps you can help out at day care.
I’m just spit-balling here. But everyone has the capability to do a little bit of good in other people’s lives. And sometimes, it’s just that one step that can help alleviate someone’s pain and suffering.
Personally, I’m a big believer in the power of words. It’s not the end all be all, but it’s a power that each and every one of us can exercise. So, if somebody, offers me a small (or large) compliment about my capabilities, it does leave a huge smile across my face. And my heart opens up a little bit more.
One of my main customers wrote a heartwarming email to me during holiday season last year about how he was grateful that we are a stable supplier for them - especially during a time when supply chains are very inconsistent. He praised me in not faltering during times of need. And his kind email really made my day.
Similarly, I remember how one of my fellow officers praised me for being an “amazing leader” back in 2015, when I served as President for my home club in Toastmasters. I don’t have that email in front of me, but her words and her praise still ring a bell in my head even up to this day. And it gives me confidence in my soft skills and communication capabilities. And it makes me feel like I can leave a positive impact in someone’s life if I put my head down and choose to do it.
It’s little things like that that add up for me. That gives me faith in the human race. That makes me feel like not all is lost. That we should be optimistic about our future. That people are willing to help out. Are willing to give back when they need comes. That there will be problems, yes, but that there will be people out there looking to support you if you look hard enough.
Just don’t give up. Don’t lose faith in humanity. Humankind is definitely not perfect. It is flawed in many ways, but there is so much untapped potential. So many possibilities. There is goodness within us - regardless of race, religion, political beliefs. There are people out there looking to help out their fellow man and woman. You just need to not give up and continue to look.
There is a philosophy saying that goes like “Look for beauty. If you can’t find it. Look again.” So, we need to look with that type of fervor about the goodness of humanity. Because despite all the wars, the political strife, the murders, the disease, and the tragedies that we see in the news, there is still a lot of goodness and kindness going on in this world. It’s just not making the headlines.
So, look for beauty in humans. If you can’t find it. Then, look again.