My good friend Kristycat wrote a week ago (can you tell I’m catching up on stuff?) about a situation in which car trouble revealed quite a bit about the world and the people in it. I recommend reading the whole thing, but in summary her car broke repeatedly and, time and time again, people were absolutely amazing about helping out and doing what they needed to so she could get back into a state of mobility.
However, as feel good as a lot of this is, the important thing about it all comes near the end (spoiler alert)
And… the argument could be made that nobody really went above and beyond here. (Well, maybe my dad.) Companies should treat their customers professionally and courteously. People should pitch in when they see someone in trouble, especially when it’s not going to take up more than a minute or two of their time. We should be able to expect that family and friends will be supportive when things go wrong that are beyond anyone’s control.
It’s pretty popular to be sarcastic about people who want accolades for acting like a decent human being or not being actively miserable, but that comes from a world in which human beings really don’t act much like it at all. This is also predicated on the optimistic view that being human is not to be base and vile and self-involved, but rather to be capable of love, joy, and intellect that can be bent to making a better world for everybody.
So go read about how good people can be, and remember that this should be the default and we should hold people accountable to it. Yes, people have a right to be miserable assholes, but that doesn’t mean we have to spend time around them. Know what the cool kids are doing? Being kind, understanding, accepting, and thoughtful. They’re coming up with new ideas to help those around them. They’re dropping what they’re doing to help a new mother get her car taken care of.