There are days where it seems like we shouldn’t have faith in humanity. Last week, I was listening to the news as I got ready to pick my parents from the airport as they returned from holiday. That morning brought the news that someone had left a decapitated body in a factory and tried to blow the factory up…followed shortly after by news that a man had hidden a gun in a beach umbrella to go on a shooting rampage on a Tunisian beach filled with tourists. I found out later that one of my cousins had stayed in the very hotel the gunman went in from the beach. My parents had been on a plane while all this was going on, so they didn’t hear about it until I had loaded their suitcases in the car.
It didn’t inspire our faith in humanity.
A man attending a prayer meeting and bible study for an hour before opening fire on the Pastor and members of the church and then leaving someone behind ‘to share the story’ had me horrified. It was on that day that I discovered that government buildings in the USA still flew the confederate flag. I was sickened (having spent a good portion of my university placement learning about the first wave of feminism that had its roots with the campaign to abolish slavery).
Is humanity going backwards?
And then the reactions of others when I turned my avatar rainbow striped for Pride weekend (and the celebration that same sex couples can now be legally married across all states in the USA). One of my undergraduate peers exclaimed ‘I didn’t know you were gay!’ (I’m not, but if I were, is that something to be ashamed of?). Another undergraduate friend also announced her engagement to her fiancee on facebook around the same time. I was so happy. What I wasn’t happy with was that our old church had not given them their full support when they began their relationship. Follow that by friends that I love and held respect for sharing memes and articles against same sex marriage.
I felt sick as they filled up my phone screen on the bus each morning as I travelled to and from work.
And then there’s that message…there are parts of the ocean that are filled with rubbish and the waters are so deeply polluted. But most of it is filled with life, there are swathes of beachfront where you can step into crystal clear water.
A man walked onto a beach with a gun. Other men shielded the mothers of their children to protect them, locals created a barrier to protect the tourists from their would be killer. A man walked into a church and shot its members. Their families spoke forgiveness and grace, and hundreds of people sent words of love and money to help the church get back on their feet afterwards. Conferderate flags were finally removed from the state buildings of South Carolina. Some friends shared some narrow minded articles on facebook. Many more covered their avatars with rainbow stripes, and congratulated my friend and her future wife on their engagement. Some shared articles that were much more open minded even if they disagreed with my views.
Look for the helpers.
I don’t know who said it first, but it’s something I look for every time our news feeds get filled with negativity, heartbreak, terror and tragedy. For every evil act, there seems to be 100 more that are filled with love.
Let’s make that ratio 1:1000 ….or more.
Don’t lose faith, because we make humanity better by raising our children to love not hate, to learn rather than fear.
I would love if you could share stories of acts of love in the comments to fill our minds with stories that remind us that the news gives a biased perspective on humanity that is inaccurate.
It’s actually much better than we think, though there’s plenty of room for improvement.