Acts of kindness restore faith in humanity

IUS Horizon

My faith in humanity is a roller coaster that is constantly questioning the decency of people, and I wish I did not have to feel this way.

Hopefully, I can relate to most people in this world by saying I feel physically ill when I hear of another teenager killing himself because he genuinely felt his life was too awful to continue. My heart sinks when I hear about someone taking the lives of others solely for their own selfish agendas.

Not only is it immensely unfortunate when acts, such as the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., or 9/11 occur, but it is disheartening and also devastating to be smacked in the face so harshly with the realization that sometimes people are just out to destroy other people.

I question whether or not I would ever want to bring a child into this world solely because of what the child may be subjected to. In a neurotic sense, I can sort of — emphasis on “sort of” — understand the premise of the 2004 M. Night Shyamalan movie “The Village.” Not because I believe you should keep secrets from your loved ones and basically deprive them of reality, but I do understand the desire to protect yourself and those you love from any negative aspect of the world.

No one should have to live in a world where he is judged mercilessly or harassed, and it is shattering that this happens on a daily basis in our world.

A couple of months ago, I saw a video via YouTube that exhibited cruel children making an older woman bus monitor cry. These children, not even in high school yet, were spitting vile words and teasing this woman ruthlessly, and for what reason?

I could not watch all of the video because my own tears were flooding my computer keyboard. I cannot wrap my head around this. I cannot begin to emphasize with someone who has the potential to be so heartless to another individual.

I also cannot wrap my head around the notion that people can be unaffected or perhaps even pleased with themselves after hurting another person.

Going to the movies should be an exciting experience, one that strips you from reality and wraps you into its imaginative world. People should not have to worry there may be a copycat psycho who decides to shoot up the theater.

People should not have to live in fear and avoid experiencing the hobbies they love because someone chooses to commit the ultimate crime of taking lives.

I will never understand the mentality of purposefully setting out to destroy others, especially for no apparent reason other than to cause conspiracy or feel like a celebrity of sorts.

Luckily, I like to believe most people in this world are not selfish barbarians who live the “an eye for an eye” policy. For the most part, people set out with good intentions and try to live life to the fullest.

Despite some economic hardships, I am ecstatic to know people have not totally given up on other people.

When the world appears to be full of hate and ignorance, especially during times of war, I cannot help but feel a moment of uplifting proportions when I witness a genuine act of kindness.

To me, nothing is more fulfilling than making another person happy. I am an emotional sponge who soaks up even the smallest gesture when I see someone behaving completely selfless, wanting nothing in return but to put a smile on another’s face.

Even when the world seems to have hit rock bottom, it seems to bring people together, and, for that, I am thankful.

My faith in humanity has recently been restored by none other than the drama-causing Facebook. I know that is completely shocking and almost unbelievable, but it is true.

Lately, I have seen my friends “like” certain posts that are placed on the Facebook walls of companies. These posts are not just the generic posts you would see on a Walmart Facebook.

The other day, I read a post where a woman described her recent experience at her local Walmart.

She said she witnessed the most beautiful act of kindness when she was in line behind an elderly woman was buying a few necessity items and she did not have enough money. The total was $29 and the woman had only $9. As the elderly woman hastily tried to decide what to put back, the cashier walked around to the elderly woman and swiped her own card without hesitation.

Although it is the Internet and could have been a made up story, I could not help but feel my heart swell in my chest. The theory of this story is enough to reestablish my hope for the human race.

Who knew social media was not so bad?

Last week, I was driving home and I saw a bright yellow vehicle drive past me with the phrase, “Your day will get better, I promise” on the back of the car. Even this miniscule occurrence made me feel instantly better. This was exactly what I needed to hear, or in this case, see.

It is little things like this that make me feel inspired to do right by the world and to embrace the world I live in, despite its unfortunate happenings.

To quote the Golden Rule, “treat others the way you would like to be treated” because, in my opinion, it is far more satisfying to make a complete stranger’s day better than to act selfishly.

By COURTNEY MCKINLEY

Profiles Editor   

comckinl@imail.iu.edu