“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.” — Roy T. Bennet
In a world that is gripped with horror, believing the goodness in humans might be an outrageous fact.
Every day, we’re bombarded with news about people exchanging harsh remarks against each other.
Anywhere we look, people seemed to be angry, deceitful, full of hate, distrusting, and do anything it takes to get what they want. Even in other parts of the world, war is ravaging.
Being confronted with this harsh reality on a daily basis makes us cringe and try to protect ourselves from fellow humans.
But if we continue to live in fear and lost touch of our humanity, we will soon forget the inherent goodness in us.
In these trying times, we need to continue to hope that human goodness is still there within us because it really is.
If there are horror stories about the evil intent in a human heart, there are also stories that tell of the goodness of the human spirit.
A lot of people remained generous and compassionate even in the midst of their own personal horrors. We often hear these stories right after the occurrence of a tragedy.
In a Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, Jonathan Smith never expected he would be heralded a hero after he dragged concertgoers away from danger.
This act could have killed him since he took a bullet himself while doing this. Shannon Johnson did the same thing during the San Bernardino massacre in 2015.
Only that Johnson didn’t make it and died in place of his coworker whose life he had saved. There are countless stories like these, proving the human spirit cannot be extinguished.
What makes it more interesting is, the more we listen to these heroic tales, the more we crave for more. And it’s because these stories remind us of how it is to be fully human.
There is always that human connection beneath us. People save others because they don’t see the badness in them. They stand up for others because they know their worth.
Listening to these inspiring stories makes us feel good. And our initial reaction would be to share these stories, mostly making them go viral.
Science explains why we feel this way. This is called “elevation,” which occurs when we witness morally exceptional behavior in others.
Seeing altruistic acts in others reminds us of our human connection. The feeling of elevation instigates us to emulate the altruistic person.
We are likely to sympathize and identify with this person. We want to be better ourselves and do better things that are likely to affect goodness in others.
All because we have just been reminded of our connectedness to each other and of our innate goodness.
Heinous crimes may be around us but so are real life heroes who still believe of the goodness in humanity.
Even if we’re not given the chance to do heroic acts, we still have the ability to lift others up by showing the goodness within us. We can begin by showing random acts of kindness.
The goodness in humans is never lost because you and I are still here to remind others of our humanity, one step at a time.