Heck Yeah, Humans!


Here’s a ┬áreprieve from the bombardment of bad news and encroaching cynicism. Thank you, Russians and your dash-cams.

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Related: Optimism and Human Nature

8 thoughts on “Heck Yeah, Humans!

  1. I think most people want to help when they can, but often something holds them back. About a year ago, I was waiting at the bus stop for my younger son to come home from (half-day) kindergarten. It was late morning, and raining pretty hard so I had an umbrella with me. I saw a woman coming up the street in a motorized scooter, but I could see that it kept stalling and would plug along in spurts, then stop again. She was a couple of blocks away and I wanted to help, but didn’t want to leave the bus stop and cause my 5 year old to panic that nobody was there to get him.

    Finally my conscience gnawed at me enough, and I ran down the street to give her my umbrella, telling her that I’d be back with a car once my son arrived. She was clearly dejected as she sat there in the rain, with tears in her eyes and her pants soaked through. She told me she had just come from the health clinic but she didn’t have enough money for her medication because her social security check hadn’t yet arrived. After a few minutes, the bus arrived and I took my son home, got the car, put her scooter in the trunk, gave her some money for her medicine, and took her home. She insisted that I write my address down, saying that she would pay me back. I didn’t really care (it wasn’t much money), but could see that it was important to her to be able to repay the money.

    I had to teach the next day, so I was not home. The woman’s daughter came by our house. She saw my wife, told her who she was, thanked her for helping out her mother, and gave her a big hug and the money. It’s the little things that connect us. I know how much I owe others for their simple acts of kindness.

    • As usual, Robert, you are correct. However, helping others surely increases the odds that good karma and reciprocation will find their way to us compared to helping no one at all, which would only spread distrust and misanthropy.

      • Given decline in altruism over one generation, a life spent helping little old ladies cross the road could be a bad social investment in terms of reciprocity ~ but almost certainly pays higher social dividends than a lifetime with ‘Friends’ on Facebook.

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