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thestrangequark June 25 2012 04:49 AM

Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
You are allowed to post your own experiences and anecdotes or those of friends, acquaintances, or strangers in the form of news articles, videos, pictures, links, or your own words. They all have to reaffirm faith in the goodness of humanity. There is no cynicism, irony, or ridicule allowed (not that I don't love cynicism, irony, and ridicule, it's just that sometimes one needs to be reminded that people can be good).

So, here's my first contribution, strangers on a train:


Miss Chicken June 25 2012 06:06 AM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
It took one of the most horrible events in Tasmanian history for me to realise how good humanity can be.

in 1996, a lone gunman killed 35 people at Port Arthur, Tasmania's most popular tourist attraction. It was Tasmania's darkest hour.

But I believe that the evil acts of one man were outshone by the numerous acts of courage that occured that day.

In the cafe, men threw themselves protectively over women without a thought to their own safety,

the manager of the cafe risk her life to warn people outside of the danger (she ended up being shot in the leg),

ambulance drivers drove through a hail of bullets to get to the victims rather than add several minutes to their journey by using another safer road

A nurse, left a place of safety, and ran towards the Broad Arrow Cafe. She had no idea where the gunman was but she knew that people were severely injured in the cafe. As she ran across the bridge she was terrified that she would be gun down, but desire to help people pushed her on.

All this acts showed the true face of humanity.

thestrangequark June 25 2012 02:14 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
^I saw a documentary about that incident a few years ago, it was truly horrible. I know what you mean about the horror bringing out the humanity in people, though. For about 6 months after September 11th it felt as though everyone in NYC was your best friend. Their was a real kinship among the residents of the city that expressed itself very positively for a time.

Misfit Toy June 25 2012 04:38 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
Quote:

thestrangequark wrote: (Post 6543646)
^I saw a documentary about that incident a few years ago, it was truly horrible. I know what you mean about the horror bringing out the humanity in people, though. For about 6 months after September 11th it felt as though everyone in NYC was your best friend. Their was a real kinship among the residents of the city that expressed itself very positively for a time.

Along the same lines - I was brought to tears after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 here in South Carolina when, amongst the truckloads of food and emergency supplies that were arriving, there was a truck of dog food and cat food. I was just very touched that some people out there hadn't forgotten our pets.

thestrangequark June 25 2012 04:57 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
^That reminds me of my SAT essay...I'd forgotten about it (after all, it was 11 years ago), but I wrote about a young homeless man I saw while on a road trip. He was sitting outside a grocery store with his dog when another man handed him a few dollars. The homeless man went into the grocery store and returned a few minutes later with a bag of dog food.

Here is a great photo example of people doing right by animals. These Norwegian guys collaborating to save a drowning sheep:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l1...40127249-8.jpg

RevdKathy June 25 2012 05:46 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
When I need my faith in humanity restoring, I go to work. Spend an hour or two in a mental health unit and you'll see countless small acts of generosity, patience, and compassion. Staff treating patients with gentleness, patients supporting each other with enormous courage and selflessness and patients even watching out for staff when the going gets tough.

The person who has nothing yet shares their last cigarette, the person who forgets their own trouble when someone else needs a hug, the annoying macho nurse on his knees cleaning the eyes of an old man with tenderness, the person who suddenly turns round and asks "So how are YOU?" and you know they actually care and want to know.

Sometimes I think the less people have the bigger their hearts.

thestrangequark June 26 2012 01:33 AM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
^I think that's often the case. Sadly, some people don't learn kindness until they are in need of it themselves...and even then, some never learn.

Here's another video...surprisingly touching, given it's a Coke commercial!


thestrangequark June 26 2012 02:18 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
This was posted in the Pride thread, and it's great:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y15...io-500x332.jpg

Mr. Laser Beam June 26 2012 02:21 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
I'll just repeat the telling of when I was in NYC a few years ago and I lost my cellphone on the subway...I got back to my aunt and uncle's house that night and there's a message for me. Somebody found the phone (and called every number in the contact list, hoping to find the owner, i.e. me) and wants me to come back to get it! So I did. A very nice clinic nurse found it and kept it for me. So I went down to Union Square where her office was and got the phone back! :techman:

lurok June 26 2012 02:27 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
Inspired idea for thread, and welcome change to snarkiness (not that I mind snarky...). I've had several occasions where benefited from kindness of strangers and always restored my faith in humanity.

Shanndee June 26 2012 08:07 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
My city demonstrated the horrific side of human nature last year when we lost a hockey game. A group of hooligans started a riot that damaged storefronts and led to looting and violence.

The rest of the city responded by forming clean up crews before they went to work in the morning. Others brought coffee and water to the volunteers doing the cleaning. People helped each other in many small but appreciated ways. The city officials were very grateful for this outpouring of support and community spirit, and for a little while we were all nicer to each other.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7280/7...fe3dc9b130.jpg

Shanndee June 26 2012 08:13 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
I wanted to have this pic in my previous post, but couldn't make it work:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8155/7...0d15016b38.jpg

Sorry about posting 2 in a row!

Mr. Laser Beam June 26 2012 08:22 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
^ Reminds me of that old show Night Heat, filmed in Toronto...they had to routinely create sets and street scenes which were suitably banged up, dirty, etc., but they also had to contend with helpful passersby who cleaned up the very same scenes (not knowing they were being used on set) before the TV crews could finish filming! :lol:

Another personal anecdote: Last fall I went to Boston to see three Yankees/Red Sox games at Fenway Park. I had a totally awesome time, I love Boston and its ballpark (even though I hate the actual Red Sox with the fire of a thousand suns :evil: :D ). Anyhoo, even though I was dressed head to toe in Yankee gear the whole time, everyone in Boston was very nice to me. A guy even helped me when I got lost in the city. No one was ever mean to me in any way - occasional catcall from a passing car but that was it. In fact, my first game at Fenway, these Sox fans sitting right in front of me turned around and shook my hand and wished me well. :techman:

Zion Ravescene June 26 2012 09:07 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
This talk of clean-up after city riots also reminds me of the events in London and other major cities in the UK last August. After a particularly nasty night of rioting on the streets of London, the following morning saw an organised clean-up effort by volunteers, word spreading mostly via social networks, and evidenced by the large turn-out of many people meeting up with brooms, rubber gloves and bags, all ready to clean up the mess caused by the few.

In a period of uncertainty where not even my friends and family in London could be guaranteed a safe night, this was a genuinely wonderful act of kindness by decent people out there.



Something more personal happened to us back in the winter of 2010. Back then, we were affected by some of the heaviest snowfall in living memory, which caught the local councils off guard somewhat. Although our main roads remained gritted and cleaned out by snow-ploughs, our little cul-de-sac remained untouched for the whole duration of the snow period, resulting in the formation of thick ice. Fortunately, our neighbours decided to get together and get out our spades, shovels and salt and clear out our own path along the street for our vehicles to use. Although eventually the council did get around to clearing our street definitively, the actions of our able neighbours that week did help boost morale.

Quote:

RevdKathy wrote: (Post 6544468)
When I need my faith in humanity restoring, I go to work. Spend an hour or two in a mental health unit and you'll see countless small acts of generosity, patience, and compassion. Staff treating patients with gentleness, patients supporting each other with enormous courage and selflessness and patients even watching out for staff when the going gets tough.

The person who has nothing yet shares their last cigarette, the person who forgets their own trouble when someone else needs a hug, the annoying macho nurse on his knees cleaning the eyes of an old man with tenderness, the person who suddenly turns round and asks "So how are YOU?" and you know they actually care and want to know.

Sometimes I think the less people have the bigger their hearts.

I just want to say how touched I am by this particular post.

Having worked in a similar environment, I too see some wonderful things as described here. The level of camaraderie and friendship between patients in a ward bay, among relatives of different patients, among staff of all disciplines and specialties, and between anyone in contact with anyone else present, is something to behold. Personally, there have been many moments in the past where just talking to someone - staff member, patient, relative, visitor, even someone waiting for the lift - and sharing our personal experiences and stories, has been the heartwarming highlight of my day, and on at least one occasion, has comforted me during times of particular difficulty.

Finally, I was reminded of this old advert for British Telecom back in the 90s, and something I had found particularly inspiring as a teenager, and which I still find inspiring today.


thestrangequark June 26 2012 09:37 PM

Re: Faith in Humanity Restoration Thread
 
Wow, I'm really appreciating everyone's stories and contributions so much! Shandee, a perfect example of people triumphing over our own foul natures, and MLB, the notoriously polite Canadians cleaning up the film sets made me lol!

Zion, that second video was especially striking to me too. I never saw the ad growing up in America, but I instantly recognized the speech, as Pink Floyd sampled it for one of their songs! (Thanks, dad. :lol:)

The Hawking video reminded me a bit of the awesome Sagan and Feynman series, some of which I've been sharing on FB. This is my favorite, because ever since I was a child I felt that we make our own meaning, and that is what makes life all the more meaningful; people think atheists have an a priori cynical worldview, but I think what Sagan expresses here is the most humanitarian, humble, and hopeful outlook one could ever possess:


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