Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Make a Better World

There was a recent terrible tragedy, where one person perpetrated an act of absolute brutality, ending some lives and destroying others.

This senseless act of violence is so deplorable, and leaves us questioning life and the randomness of the universe.

How do we respond? One of the best ways I saw was on the blog of Chuck Wendig, who challenged his readers to post something *nice.* I'm going to quote from the site, because it matters:

"We balance out the horrors of a day like this by willfully doing good for others.

So, hug your kids, give to a charity, rescue a puppy, something, anything.

Evil can’t be undone, but good can outshine it.

So, if you feel like it, post something below in the comments that’s good and nice in this world. Don’t talk about the shooting or other bad shit. Don’t politicize anything (today is not a real good day to defend the second amendment, or talk about naughty pop culture or liberal-conservative fol-de-rol). Just post something nice. A story. Charity. Something your kid said or did. Anything at all.

This not in service of forgetting tragedy or ignoring it, but rather, to remind ourselves that people aren’t all bad and that one aberration a species does not make."

One of the posters responded to this with a personal story:
"A week ago, I was picking up odds and ends at Walmart on the way home from work. There was a family ahead of me in the checkout line that was having issues paying. The dad’s credit card was being rejected for the n-th time, so he decided to give up and started giving back the bags they had loaded into their cart. After taking a quick peek at their loot (mostly frozen dinners, rice and beans), noting that they weren’t buying any alcohol or tobacco, I offered to pay for it. It was about 60 bucks worth of stuff. Not much, but the mom teared up, making me almost tear up, and so on.
After helping get their bags back in the cart, I turn to the cashier to pay for my items. Only, the guy behind me, sporting a big, shit-eating grin, had paid for my items. At that point, the lady behind him, insisted to pay for his, and so it went in a line of about 8 people. It was a great moment of good will, and I’m glad to have kicked it off."

It's that kind of act we should remember, and celebrate.

So-- go forth and celebrate at least one human act of kindness, of connection, of just pure goodness. Evil deeds are done by the weak and stupid. It takes real strength to build something good.

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