Discovering that human beings are good is like finding fresh water when you’re lost in the desert.
Some days I feel like I’m adrift in a vast expanse of arseholery which will eventually crush my soul with the weight of how horrible and selfish people are.
People who drive like they’re the only person on the road. People who see you walking to a counter and start walking faster so they can get there first. People who barge into a lift like your attempt to exit is an inconvenience to them. People who tweet hideous things at random strangers for sport. People who take joy in putting you down, just because they’re small, bitter, lonely people. Ugh… why bother with the list? You know exactly what I mean. A lot of the time, people are just dicks.
I know this weight bears down on you too. I know this because of the joy and profound relief that unites us whenever we hear a Good Samaritan story.
I tweeted this link today: 24 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity. Take a look at 7 of them below
To see more of these images go to Buzzfeed
The response was emotional. There were lots of tears (many blamed on PMS, dust and onions) but there were also a lot of tweeted thank yous.
It was the thank yous that made me realise how much we need this. We really really need to know that people aren’t all dicks. We really really need to know that some people are decent, kind, compassionate, generous people. Some people do nice things even though no one is watching. They do nice things without any expectation of praise or gratitude. That’s what restores my faith in humanity.
I was in a very serious car accident a few years ago. My brand new car was t-boned by a P-plater on the Federal Highway. I hit a tree, flipped a few times, and landed on my side in a paddock.
The old bloke who owned the property ran out, pulled me out of my car and carried me to the side of the highway, to get me away from my car. At least three other cars pulled over to help. One woman sat with me until the ambulance arrived, with her arm firmly wrapped around my shaking shoulders. Another man gave me his socks because my shoes had come off and he didn’t want me to get glass in my feet; another man called my husband. They all waited with me, to make sure I got away okay in the ambulance.
I’d broken my sternum and damaged my shoulder and arm; I was beyond hysterical. These people were so calm and lovely and caring. I don’t know if I ever properly thanked them; it’s all a bit of a blur…. But even now, three years later, I get teary thinking about how grateful I am that they did that. It turned a terrifying experience into a positive memory. Of how good people can be. So if you were one of those people that stopped by the side of the highway in 2009 after seeing my crushed red fiat 500…. thank you. A million times over. You might not think it was a huge deal, but you restored my faith in humanity.
The photo of two men saving a sheep is sweet. The letter exchange between a 3 year old and a supermarket manager is adorable. The tears, for me, started welling at the Subway sign offering free food to the homeless. Follow that up with a villager saving kittens from a flood and a dry cleaner offering free services to unemployed job seekers and the tears were flowing. By the time I got to the man giving his own shoes to a clearly humbled, homeless girl and I was sobbing. I suddenly wanted to fly to Rio de Janeiro and start giving away my clothes. I was ashamed of how many unworn, unappreciated scraps of fabric I have hanging in my overcrowded wardrobe. I thought about the sulking that comes when I can’t get something I want in my size or it’s just too expensive – like my life is going to be so difficult without a 4th winter coat.
Not only did these pictures restore my faith in humanity – a sip of cool water in a drought of hope –they gave me a good slap upside the head. I found myself declaring to my computer screen, Jack Nicholson style, that they made me want to be a better woman.
Sometimes all we need is to see one image of a soldier hugging a protestor, or have one good Samaritan put their arm around us and all of a sudden, this world becomes a little easier to live in. Better yet, we have the power to be that Good Samaritan. Because we all have goodness inside; sometimes hidden by a bit of selfishness and pushed down by some time poorness – but sometimes, humans are awesome.
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What’s your good Samaritan story? Have you given or received some kindness lately?