The World is Not a Bad Place #1000Speak

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan

In spite of everything that you read in the newspaper, I need you to believe in one thing – the world is not a bad place.

I see so many of your shoulders slump when you talk about the way things are today. You are worried about terrorists and fanatics, persecution and poverty. You look at one another with suspicion even though you have never met each other in real life. There are daily reminders of blood spilled and heinous crimes committed and you say “This world is such a horrible place to live in today.”

That is not true. It is as bad as it has always been. These struggles for religious dominance, power or money have always been a part of mankind… but so has compassion and selfless love. There is so much love and humanity within us. There are so many people still making the extra effort to brighten someone’s day. They are not world leaders – they are ordinary people like you and me. They are living proof that you can be an angel in someone’s life just with a simple gesture of love, compassion or gratitude. 

 You only get to see the power hungry world leaders and the fear mongers in your newsfeed and you think this is what the world has become now because you are flooded with the negativity that is showcased. But what if I were to turn it around? What if instead of the sorrow and suffering you see in the news, you were flooded with the good that we do everyday? Can you then find it within you to believe once more in humanity?

What is compassion and where is it found, you ask?

  • Compassion is a police officer who decides not to arrest an impoverished woman caught stealing food for her children and instead pays for her food, her act motivating others to donate for the woman’s children and eventually getting her a job.
  • It is celebrities who do not forget their humble beginnings and help out in soup kitchens for disaster reliefs; who know their presence can motivate a young child and so make the extra effort to help the needy.

  • Compassion is a man braving the unforgiving floods to save helpless animals from a certain death.
  • It is a restaurant deciding that everyone is entitled to food irrespective of their financial status or clothing.

  • Compassion is a random stranger who bends down on one knee in a train and plays his violin to a crying child to soothe her.
  • It is when a man sends pictures of his wife and newborn to the internet asking for help to make beautiful images for his wife’s birthday. And the internet responds.
  • It is a family who decides to ease the adoption pangs of a young child by dressing up as his favourite superheroes on d-day so that he will join them in smiles, not fear.
  • It is a teenager who chose to help a fellow athlete who had collapsed during a race rather than try to win by herself because she knew what mattered most.

  • Compassion is when a billion dollar comic book company reads a fan mail about a young child who refused to wear a hearing aid because superheroes don’t wear them and makes a whole new superhero who wears a hearing aid just so that that one child would feel at ease.
  • It is when a stranger pays your bill because it was a selfless gesture done to them once upon a time and they want to ‘pay it forward’.
  • It is when a young man saves hundreds of lives during the Holocaust and half a century later finds himself being in a televised show where the host asks anyone saved by him to stand up. And the entire audience – all children rescued by him during the War – stand up.

  • Compassion is when the students of a school show more respect for God’s concept of equality than the school they are studying in.
  • It is a Pope who is ready to break through dogmas because he wants the world to be a better place, criticizing the moral stigmas enforced by his own church and forcing people to think beyond religious boundaries.
  • It is an old man standing on a street in Mumbai every day for years holding a placard which asks everyone to just love one another and not persecute someone for their religious values.
  • It is the concept of Ubuntu. 

  • Compassion is Cameron Lyle, the New Hampshire athlete who gave up his sports dreams and life dream just so that he could donate his bone marrow to a leukemia patient he had never met.
  • It is school teachers teaching under a bridge in New Delhi so that children do not lose out on their education.

  • It is a man who finds out he has a blood group with a rare antigen which could cure a disease and so donates over a 1000 times during his lifetime, saving 2 lakh people.
  • It is when protesters find out that the opposition general is forced to stand against them on his birthday and so make him a cake, bringing him to tears and helping them both realise the futility of their enmity.

  • Compassion is when a paralyzed man saves up money for a revolutionary operation so that he can walk again, then finds another child who needs a similar operation and donates all the money he had saved for himself so that the young boy could walk instead.   
  • It is a police officer who can motivate a man one step away from suicide who then gets to meet that man again 8 years later when the latter presents him with an award.

  • Compassion is when people put aside their differences and form human shields so that the other may not get attacked during their prayer times.
  • It is an old man giving the slippers off his feet so that a homeless woman would not burn her soles in the hot summer.
  • It is a young schoolgirl sharing the water from her water bottle so that the homeless do not cry of thirst.

  • It is when a random homeless person you have helped for six months takes the effort to find and repay you while letting you know how much you mean to him and how your selfless efforts helped him reach a better place in life.
  • It is in helping an animal that cannot even say thank you… because you’re doing it for yourself.

  • Compassion is when you take a break from being aggressive rugby players to let your opponent know you are thinking of his cancer-stricken daughter and sending your love, your wishes and your donations to help her get better.

  • It is when working men collect money for those who are too weak to collect for themselves.
  • It is when a news anchor decides to stop being a passive spectator and rushes into a war zone to rescue a bleeding child.

  • Compassion is when a child asks to hear Christmas carols before she dies and the whole town gathers outside her hospital window to sing to her.

  • It is when the old pensioners of Japan request to come back to duty at the Fukushima power plant so that the youth folk do not suffer the effects of the nuclear radiation.

  • It is a father who has a secret book wherein he gets every teacher from every year of his daughter’s student life to write in and surprises her with it on the day of her high school graduation after 13 years.

  • It is a world where a young woman returns ten years after a horrific accident to thank everyone who worked endlessly to save her infant child (story here)
This is our world. This is who we are. This is what we are capable of.

It is not just the horrifying news that surrounds us every day across our media. There is good too all around you. There are angels too around you.

There are so many compassionate people out there who do little things everyday just to make someone’s life better. They do not get the same coverage as the hate mongers but they are there, all around you performing acts of humanity and love because they know they can make a difference. And so can you

It can be as simple a gesture as opening the door for an old couple or stopping your car to let them cross the road. Every small gesture, every selfless deed, every moment of gratitude adds up. It lights a torch which then gets shared forward by the receiver of your love. That random act of kindness reverberates louder than the moments of sorrow, instilling a contagious belief that there is a brighter day ahead with good Samaritans around you. And that hope is necessary, now more than ever.

To find a person who does something good for others, you do not need to search the internet. You do not even need to look too far, frankly. Just peek into the nearest mirror and you will find the next person capable of an act of selfless compassion.

Authors note:

I am writing this for 1000 Voices of Compassion.
Alongside a 1000 other bloggers across the globe, we wanted to reignite people’s belief in the good that humanity is capable of. You can find their posts here.

On a personal note, I always wonder how there is so much space for pages filled with scams, violence et al and no newspaper has a concept of a ‘Humanity Page’ – just one page dedicated to moments of selfless compassion from around the world. I mean, I found all these moments online in between breaks during surgical cases while using just a phone. How is it that the media barons of the world with all their resources and ‘means to influence’ cannot have the concept of wanting to make people believe in the world they live in once more?

Follow the hashtag #1000Speak to find the remaining voices from around the world. 
You can also find the other voices here on Pinterest or Facebook.

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Let me know what you think.

  1. This teared me up! Thank you for being that positive ray and reminding us all how humanity still exists and how love can actually overpower every obstacle! I applaud you for the research of all the images which have such beautiful stories attach to it. I've read them before but it's always good to be reminded specially when you are about to lose hope in the world!

  2. A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a good one.

  3. Imogene GoodmanSeptember 25, 2017

    It's not a bad world when people still help each other and are able to feel empathy. At you can volunteer for different social programs that help people to survive in this world.

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