With all the craziness going on in the world, it can be easy to get caught up in all the bad.
Especially in the light of the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. These tragic events leave many people feeling hopeless and scared. When the news is full of negativity and social media is a never-ending reminder of all the bad, it can be easy to forget that for the most part people are good.
The bad in the world can seem overwhelming and scary, but there are still so many beautiful and inspiring events that get overlooked. Out of the billions of people in the world, there is only a handful that commits such evil hate crimes. I read a quote the other day that made me stop in my tracks and really look around to see just how much good goes unnoticed.
SMALL KINDNESS - Danusha Lameris
"I've been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you go by. Or how strangers say "bless you"
When someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. "Don't die", we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don't want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick up to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say "here,
have my seat," "Go ahead- you first," "I like your hat."
It is so easy to see the negativity around us, because yes, there are so many problems that need answers.
However, when you look around, the world is still a beautiful place. Like the quote says, "Mostly, we don't want to harm each other." I think it is important to remember the small acts of kindness that seem so ordinary to us that we often forget that it even happened. We don't need to be powerful politicians or millionaires that can donate to charities to make a difference. Smiling at a passing stranger, complimenting someone's hair, or holding the door for someone can make a world of a difference in their day.
By treating strangers with decency and respect, and maybe going out of your way once in a while to make someone smile, we can do our part in reminding people that the world is still beautiful and people are still kind. It is in these small changes that we can start a ripple effect.