Monday mantra: Let me do good now
Every day I come across stories I love and loathe. A lot of it online.
Occasionally, I dip into the comments section to gauge public opinions on challenging topics - violence against women, the refugee crisis, vaccination debates, gay marriage, bullying, animal rights, climate change, gun control, the list goes on - in a vain attempt to get a sliver of insight into the human psyche.
We humans are a complex bunch - complicated and simple, beautiful and vile, selfish and selfless, brilliant and downright stupid.
We are driven by love and fear and hate, often with absolute and ferocious commitment.
We are bound by outdated, and sometimes, dangerous traditions and obstinate prejudices passed down by one generation to the next. We become anxious by the things we don't understand or perhaps can't explain, and we grow more and more angry when something or someone threatens our comfortable view of the world and how things should be.
We become insular with what we know and what we own. And skeptical when considering who we help.
We turn our backs on the desolate and vulnerable because their situation might seem too hard and too far removed for us to think we can make any real difference. And sometimes, secretly or vocally, we feel some people deserve the hardships that come their way due to poor life choices.
What we fail to realise, or remember, I'm not sure which, is that if we can just push past all the bias and bullshit long enough to cut through the ignorance and fear, we would see that we're all more alike than not.
We're all made up of blood and bone. We cry, we laugh, we dream, we hope. We want to feel free, safe and we want to belong. We all crave to experience life on a visceral level and we all have an infinite capacity for compassion and kindness. It's such a shame we keep forgetting it.
This week's mantra is inspired by Stephen Grellet's beautiful words and the incredible images and stories captured by Humans of New York as shared by some of the refugees currently making their way through Europe. I literally held my breath waiting to find out what would become of one man's ill-fated journey. It was truly an epic tale of tragedy, discrimination, survival and hope.
I think we all we feel the urge to do good and help others. It's part of the human condition. But I also think that sometimes we overthink and overcomplicate things and the moment passes us by. And so we do nothing.
Here's the thing, life doesn't always give us a second chance to show kindness to those who need it most.
Please know there is always SOMETHING we can do. Me and you. Here and now.
It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, wads of cash, or even shelter. That isn't always a safe or viable option. Sometimes a simple smile, a warm embrace, kind words, a cup of coffee, a warm meal, a hand up, a phone call, a haircut, or someone to talk to can make the biggest difference in someone's day.
It can also mean the difference between hope and hopelessness, between living and dying.
Today you will receive an irreplaceable and priceless gift - 86,400 seconds. How much of it will you use to help others?
Before you go, leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.