In the wake of recent events *coughelectioncough*, people everywhere (the left and the right alike) are questioning the future – whether we can break past the rampant hatred in our current society. Honestly, I have, too. Particularly yesterday afternoon.
It had not been a good day. In addition to the negative tone of things happening in the world: I missed an appointment, realized that I had 8+ essays due in the next three weeks on top of all other homework, and lost my favorite button on my backpack. In short, I felt I had a sufficient list of things to whine about. Which is exactly what I did.
As I grumbled my way over to the law building to finish my homework, mentally cataloging the extensive list of things I had to accomplish and trying to ignore the national events of the day, I saw 2 classy ladies – one middle-aged and one elderly dressed in skirts and heels – struggling to lift some heavy boxes, decorations, and food onto a tiny cart. At first I entered the building without thinking twice; I was focused on getting my work done with my limited amount of time. But then I paused. These well-dressed women really needed help. They looked very competent, but they really didn’t stand a chance on their own – not in them heels and pencil skirts.
So I fought the urge to go inside and went out to offer my services. Oh, they were so sweet! I helped them carry their things inside the law building and we chatted along the way. They asked me about my family, my studies, my plans for the future. Turns out, they come from the Bay Area like me and we have several mutual friends. We got to the location, we set up their items, and I got ready to leave. Just as I was packing up to go, one woman stopped me and said that she wanted to give me a book that she was handing out that evening. She and the other woman (who was her daughter) asked for my number, handed me the brand-new book, and gave me hugs. Their warmth and kindness lifted my spirits and made me smile.
I walked back downstairs to start studying, new book in hand, and I found that I did not feel as nasty as I had before. I felt so uplifted, and my list of to-dos and current events didn’t seem so weighty anymore. I felt whole.
This might seem like a simple and insignificant experience, but it gave me a new outlook on the world. No matter what side of the battle you may be on, we all feel a little helpless right now. To one degree or another, we all feel bitter. We all feel resentment. We all feel hurt. The darkness and hatred forms a gulf between us, and we see no way of breaching it.
But what I experienced yesterday proved to me that it actually doesn’t take much to expel that darkness. Showing love and concern for others and reciprocating that love when you receive it – that is all it takes. I understand that sometimes it is easier said than done, but a little push in the right direction is worth a try. We need to fight for the good that still exists in this world – and I would argue that there is still a significant amount of good and love left. There can be so much more if we all contribute. We can all do our part through simple things like helping people with heavy items on a tiny cart. Sometimes it is the simple things that matter the most, that help us step into no-man’s land and bridge differences.
Pardon my nerdiness, but this reminds me of a quote from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers said by Sam:
Sam : It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.
So get out there and fight for the good in this world. Don’t contribute to the acidic quarrels on social media or in public. In reality, no one was ever convinced to change sides through negative commentary. Instead, spread kindness. Get out there and make changes. Create more good. Serve more. Love more. And love everyone – no matter who they are.
Only Love can save us – and that is all up to you.