Acts Of Human Kindness
Posted on February 14, 2011
Many of you may have read or heard in the media last week about David Beckham stopping and helping a motorist who had broken down on a roundabout in Hertfordshire. The press reacted to this as if Beckham had leapt out of his car with a defibrillator and revived a dying heart attack patient, almost as if helping someone pushing a car was something that only happened in the good old days when all the summers were warm, you could leave your back door open and everyone knew their local bobby who could clip a child around the ear and not be prosecuted. A day when child sex offenders (except Brady and Hindley) didn’t exist and east end gangsters were men of honour who only murdered their own.
I decided to put this to the test and tried to spend the rest of the week making mental notes of basic human kindness, because surely if it no longer existed, society couldn’t function, as it is based around peoples better nature. I also decided that I would compare it to basic acts of rudeness, arrogance and selfishness, and I am pleased to inform you all that people who have been pleasant have far outweighed those who have not. From people serving in shops and working in pubs and restaurants, to people giving way in their cars, to my girlfriend making me dinner, to my friends sharing drinks, my neighbours saying good morning, and my children looking forward to seeing me, kindness of the very basic nature is everywhere. I even experienced an attractive lady in her early twenties allowing me ahead of her in the queue at Sainsburys because I only had three items compared to her basketful. “That’s because she fancied you Bob”, I hear you all cynically cry, and whilst this may be understandable, you can call me naive, but I do actually think she was just being nice.
Of course the strength of human spirit is often a lot more dramatic than the simple things I have mentioned above. Recently we have witnessed the civil uprisings in North African countries that are courageous acts of a surge towards democracy not for their own benefit but for future generations. Whether us pampered Western Europeans would put our lives on the line for the future generations is open for debate, but I bet if push came to shove our spirit would shine through in the face of adversity. Closer to me personally, In recent months I have witnessed friends finding the strength to help and nurse their sick relatives whilst others rally around another who is being devastated by the reality of a marriage breakdown which has been caused by the darker more sinister side of human nature.
Of cause not all humans are great, it doesn’t take much effort to reel off historical events such as the holocaust or more recently the mass ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and Iraq and even closer to home the sectarian murders in Northern Ireland and IRA along with Al Qaeda bombings right here in England. However, even when you take these events into account, they are outweighed time and time again by millions of acts of daily kindness at every level of life. The reason we are shocked when extraordinary and unpleasant acts of human spirit happen, is because we can’t imagine that in a world where in general we all try to help and care for each other, some people could be so rotten. Maybe that is why I, my girlfriend and many of our friends have spent a weekend in a state of sad and occasionally angry shock at the dishonesty of others.
I would like to thank David Beckham for his act of kindness to the stranded driver, I don’t believe it was contrived because despite what some people in the media and government want you to believe, we are a caring society and most of us love to help other because it gives us a good feeling, the recent digging out of cars and voluntary clearing of roads in the December snow was a classic example of this. David Beckham probably experienced a real sense of happiness that his millions couldn’t buy, by simply deciding to help out a fellow human in need whilst making his day at the same time, it is certainly a story the rescued man can dine out on. I just hope he isn’t one of those pub bullshitters, otherwise it will be just another one of his preposterous tales.
The next time you remember, try to count the number the times in a day you experience natural kindness towards you, or indeed how much you offer back, you will then realise that all these media tales of a feckless society with no respect for elders and all that nonsense are all a load of bollocks used to strike fear in to people, because history will tell you that any Government or the mass media know that fear is the most powerful controlling tool of them all.
We are sometimes in danger of fearing fear itself in a world that in general, does care, we wouldn’t be here otherwise.