In wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been waves of anger and sorrow washing over us all. Young and old. Rich and poor. Believer and non-believer. Pain spares no one its icy grip; it holds ransom with vice-like shackles. The world over, we are united in our grief. And oh, how it hurts to see those little faces flash across the screen, knowing that their precious souls will never see the light of Christmas.
They will never feel a mother's warmth, a father's embrace. There will be no tomorrow, just heart-aching yesterdays. And within this train of thought, one can easily fall prey to the mindset that there is little good left in this world. A world where 20 innocent children, along with their heroic teachers, were brutally murdered in such horrific manner is hard to reckon with.
Recently, I came across the 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year that has been floating around the Internet. And then the 24 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity came up in a search, as did 22 Random Acts of Kindness That will Restore Your Faith in Humanity.
It was as if these sites popped up for such a time as this: when the world over finds itself in bleak mid-winter, the sun comes out and shines across the shadows. Illuminating the landscape with light and hope. These videos, quotes, stories and pictures and others of like kind have created a sensation in the way that they are willingly pushing against the tide of negativity that surfaces after tragic events, so much so that they are worth their own mention individually. When all else seems lost, there will always be a good news story to bring things back around to the right perspective.
My friend newly began a list along the same vein as the ones mentioned above in which she names the specific things people have done and are still doing in our own local area to restore faith in humanity and all that is good and pure in this world. Some of the things she mentioned in her list that are restoring her faith in the goodness of the people of West Prince, Prince Edward Island are as follows:
1. The Helping Hands Band (a local band in our area that sings for benefits) which did a concert each Saturday to raise funds for off-island medical care.
2. Every church in West Prince, P.E.I. that has been diligent in having food drives or adopting families for Christmas.
3. The countless turkeys (For the CBC Turkey Drive) that have been delivered from West Prince and eventually back to West Prince.
4. When I saw an older gentlemen at Save Easy with debilitating arthritis in his hands and asked him where he got his new gloves, he said gloves are delivered to his door each year at this time.
5. Each week there is a benefit for someone in need. Thousands of dollars are raised. We give without question. Most times we give even if we have little to give.
6. My neighbours had a sick dog and took him to the Vet College and literally are nursing him back to health day and night. On little sleep.
7. There are women who volunteer at Maplewood Manor to give hot wax hand massages to the elderly people to help with severe joint pain.
8. The Westisle Composite High School students who have been diligent with raising monies for various charities.
9. An intellectually challenged girl in the area who visits three older siblings each week to share her beautiful spirit with them. To laugh and love with them.
I added number 10 with this statement:
10. The students at Bloomfield Elementary had a toy drive and were able to more than assist Kids West in their Christmas Hamper Project.
The thing is, if we were all to start naming the wonderful things that are happening around us in our own localities, we might be able to accomplish much more than we could imagine. Dare I think it, even a paradigm shift. And if that were to happen, the things which seem so evil and powerful might begin to lose their sway over us. And we might be free to forgive, accept and move forward rather than live in a world that only looks back. Because as important as it is to look to the past, it often serves to knock down our faith. Undermining us in the process. Throwing us off track, off-kilter.
What the world needs right now is restoration, not revenge.
At the end of the day, goodness is more powerful in gentle humility than raw terror. The good that is found in faith, love and hope has the sustaining power to unite, propelling nations and peoples forward in the common goal of healing hurt. And it can happen one person at a time. One changed mindset can influence a multitude of others. One little list has the power to inspire a thousand of like kind. One shared story at a time.