Going through some online news the other day, I came to a couple of realizations. Obvious ones that we seem to forget as we’re going about our lives.
If you spend any time at all on the Internet, you’ll realize what a cesspool some of it can become. I didn’t have to look very far - I simply read public comments on a news article.
The story was about a teenager who committed suicide. While many left their condolences, some comments were insulting this child and making fun of Generation Z.
These people were ignoring that this person’s life had value. And what about when she was alive? Perhaps if people had given her what she deserved as a unique human being, things may have turned out differently.
It’s easy to lose faith in humanity at moments like these. But if you start to think about it, the very problem of hatred and abuse immediately reveals to us the solution.
This was my other realization - that kindness, understanding and love are essential. And in a world of pain and uncertainty, these good things can flourish.
Light can snuff out the darkness. And pain exists so that we may all feel compassion for others, seek mercy and try to help those in need.
At a time like this, when the world seems to be tipping over the edge, the light is precious. But it can be abundant, precisely because of the bad in the world. The fear and the suffering will make the light shine brighter than it would have without the badness.
The world is in a state of unrest, and not just because of this virus. All the germ has done is make it more obvious. But the solution - kindness toward our fellow man - is right under our noses.
While many have lost hope and can see only anger and class divisions, many more have used it as an opportunity to help others through charity, comfort and sacrifice.
They check on their neighbors. They donate masks. They ask strangers how they’re feeling.
Many are on the frontlines caring for the sick, protecting the vulnerable or making tough decisions for the good of their state or community.
Lots of people are loving one another, regardless of race, religion or political party.
People have been fighting for ages. Left, right, rich, poor, educated, uneducated - there are guilty people in each group. Many hate that which is different.
People of different opinions can certainly disagree, but must they really hate each other?
No one pays attention to the fact that within each of these groups there exist people who are only radical in one respect - believing that love is more than just an emotion.
We all know these things. We recognize the power of light.
But if we aren’t reminded daily, then it can fade without our knowing.
The embers of kindness can become a blazing inferno of goodness. And we can use small things - small like a match - to get the fire going.
A smile, a friendly hello, a “How you doing?” could be just what that “stranger” needs today.
Viral infections don't pick and choose.
And neither should we.