Out of the Darkness

The world can be a depressing place. Every day we are faced
with images of people being mugged in the street, murders, children
starving to death both home and further a field, families who can’t
afford to keep a roof above their heads and other images of horror.
Nobody would think wrong of you for believing that the world is
broken, and the only people who get rewarded are those who take and
think little of those who they are taking from. The injustice of
our world leads some of us to despair, to join the broken system
and others do something about it. When Buddha left the walls of his
palace, he saw the horrors of the world and gave up his riches to
help save it. I’m not here to ask everyone to do the same; I am
though going to discuss the side of humanity that the media rarely
shows us, the side that has “humanity”. What originally prompted me
to write about the topic of humanity was an article I read about a
devoted Trekie who was terminally ill. His dying wish was to see
the upcoming movie Star Trek: Into Darkness. His friend posted the
story on the internet, and before long the story was being passed
around like a Thai prostitute at a coke. Eventually it came to the
attention of someone working for Abrahams, who got his sectary to
email her secretary, who emailed Abrahams’ secretary, who informed
Abrahams of the story. Abrahams, who was so touched by the story,
arranged for the man and his friend to see a rough cut of the film.
The man was said to enjoy the film, but did die shortly after. The
story filled me with a warm feeling. In the world we live in, this
story showed that people can still show empathy and compassion. I
know that some of you are going to say that it’s just a PR stunt,
and maybe it was. Does it matter though? The person involved got
his dying wish. He got to indulge his passion before his untimely
passing. Do you think he cared if it was a PR stunt? Some people
are just too cynical. After reading the story I began to think
about to the concept of altruism. Now from my knowledge of
psychology I am aware that altruism in its purist form is very much
impossible. Every action you take either benefits or hinders you.
Every time you act towards another you get an emotional reaction.
Basically you benefit from helping others by getting a release of
hormones that make you feel good; do good and feel good. The thing
is I don’t really care. If I benefit from doing good things, with
good feelings then I’m reinforced to do it again. Even if it’s not
true altruism it’s still doing a good thing for another and in the
end that is all that matters, but I feel like I’m going off point.
What I did read was other acts of altruism that happen in our
world. The first thing I stumbled across was a story of a New York
police officer that found a homeless man on the streets who was
sitting barefoot. I have never been to New York, but have been to
many other big cities and I am aware that this is not an unusual
sight. What is unusual about this story is that the office handed
the homeless man a pair of boots. A passing tourist happened to
catch the moment with a photograph. The image is quite
heart-warming; it shows the warmer side of humanity. Another
example of doing good that I came across was in a website called
Superheroes
Anonymous
. This site is a collective of “superheroes”
who are dedicated to inspiring the hero in all of us, through
“outreach, education and creative community service”. Yeah it’s a
bit weird and slightly crazy, but these people are actually out
there doing good. Their use of the term superhero creates a
slightly tongue in cheek feel, but it is hard to argue that these
people are doing good. The point I’m making here is that there is a
lot of bad is this world, but there is also a lot of good. I’ve
only used a few examples here but there are many more to be found.
Good deeds are happening all around us. Every day people are
working in soup kitchens, collecting money for charities, helping
the elderly carry shopping to their homes, caring for those who
can’t care for themselves and hundreds of other acts. The thing is
that these acts are never going to make the news. Why would people
tune into to listen to stories about people helping cats out of
trees? That should matter though. So what I am asking here is that
everyone who reads this blog does their bit. This is a call to
arms; the world is broken, and it’s time we fuck the system! One
day a week go out into this world and do one good deed. It doesn’t
have to be a big thing, it can be something small. Just do
something, show the world that there is still humanity in humanity.
After all it’s our duty…right? By Matt Husselbury Twitter:
@Messiah_MPH Facebook: /tubelove Instagram: Messiah_MPH

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. Speaking as someone who regularly donates to various charities I really enjoyed reading this. It reminded me of an article I read yesterday dealing with the bystander effect. It mentioned a woman who saw a man with a small boy over his shoulder whom he was spanking and yelling at while the child was screaming for his mother. It turned out this man (his father) was quite drunk. One woman decided to step up and after the man put the child in the car, stopped the man from driving away then talked to his son with the security guard until the police showed up to arrest the man and the boys grandfather showed up to take him home.

    There are beautiful people in this world, but sometimes they’re hard to see. While it’s true that altruism is non-existent in it’s purest form, there are people that try to make it exist. The aforementioned article was titled “Are you a hero in waiting?” and mentioned two rules about heroes.
    1. Heroes act when others are passive.
    2. Heroes act sociocentrically, not egocentrically.

    Loved this article, very good read.

  2. […] Out of the Darkness. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: