Where have all the good humans gone?

We had a shocking incident occur to our neighbour last week. Like, the kind of shocking you just don’t think would, or could happen near you.  Stuff you hear on the news and shake your head about. It has taken our relatively nice, family-friendly street and shaken it right up.

Our neighbour is doing well, she’s a very tough cookie. But it got me wondering about us as a society and why these kinds of things happen. Why are there some people in the world that think they can treat others in such a manner? Why do we get so angry/hateful/hurtful that we want to cause others pain?

The thing is, these people don’t think about others. They just don’t. They think about themselves. They think about their needs, or what they think they want. Others are simply de-humanised. And while our minds boggle at how some people can do what they do, they don’t see it.

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They might have traumatic backgrounds, they might have been raised in a violent environment, often there is a why. But it’s a hard why for a lot of us to find. The human mind is a pretty crazy thing. All it takes is a shitty event growing up, or being born into the wrong environment and it can set off a chain of nasty stuff in neural development, and in the way people function around others.

While it can be scary, and make us angry toward others and want to shut off, for all the nasties getting about, there are some really, really good people around. Amazing people even. They’re the ones we have to focus on. Because if we only look at the evils on the news, and the atrocities people commit against each other, we’ll lose our marbles.

What do we do for our children in this instance? We help them to see the good in others. To assure them that for all the not-so-nice things going on in the world, there are so many more great things. Like the neighbours who have banded around the lady in our street to support her, friends who have stayed over with her so she’s not alone.

We can be that change too. Doing little things for others might not take much for us, but it can mean the world to others. A little note, baking some nice food, just a simple smile and a “how are you?”. That’s what we want to teach our kids.  Can I be honest and say we don’t really get along with our neighbour all that well? So when I posted a pic on Instagram of some soup I made for our neighbour I felt like a fraud when people made lovely comments. That wasn’t what I was after at all. But I felt like something needed to be done in that situation. No one should feel violated like that and left alone.

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One of the biggest lessons we can teach our kids is ‘we don’t have to be friends, but we DO have to be friendly’.  And I see this in kids a lot- they try. They really do. If only we adults could follow suit and just be a bit friendlier to each other. Maybe there wouldn’t be so many nasties lurking around wanting to hurt and harm.

And my neighbour? She harbours no ill feelings toward this other person. Some confusion, some trepidation. But she focused more on how lucky she was, and staying calm and talking to this person. Humanising herself, and trying to connect on some level with the perpetrator. How amazing is that? Resilience is an brilliant thing.

 

Have you ever had anyone do something nasty to you? How did you handle it? Did you find the good peeps again?

 

And how would you explain this stuff to kids? It’s been tricky to talk to the girls about what’s gone on in a sensitive way!

 

 

  • Oh god that would be a hard one to talk to the kids about. How amazing that your neighbour doesn’t harbour ill feelings I don’t think I could do that. We say the same thing to our girls, you don’t have to like them but you do have to be kind. Why does it have to be the older we get the less well behaved some people become. thought provoking post and I hope everything settles down soon, a really awful situation. x

  • You raise some excellent points and conversations need to continue to see that we humans need to be connected more with each other at the ‘grassroots’ level too. Recently our new (to us) elderly neighbours went away but didn’t tell anyone as their bin was left out for almost a week. We agonised over what to do but in the end did nothing and they returned from hols. It’s a tough one! You are doing what you can to change things one at a time it seems to me. Denyse

  • There are bad people out there and really bad things happen. We can’t stop these people from doing these things but you’re totes right, we can be the change we want to see in the world and little things can make a big difference. I love that line “we don’t have to be friends, but we do have to be friendly.” You nailed it. How lucky that lady is to have neighbours like you! xx

  • I’m sorry that something awful happened, but I think it’s lovely that you did something kind to combat it. I will never understand nastiness. It just seems so pointless to me.

  • Your neighbor is amazing! I can’t believe the way she handled herself. Stayed human like you said. I hope I would act wisely in a tough situation but I guess you never really know. I wish we could all live in a world where we all wanted the same things. To grow, learn, love, move about and eat ice-creams on the front lawn in safety.

    If everyone could just respect each other and their belongings…this world would be so much better. Nice post xo

  • Such a hard and terrible topic. One I see every single day at work. My motto, and what keeps me sane, and what I will strive to teach my children is to never ever judge. No matter how terrible someone’s behaviour is we need to see the person behind it. Doesn’t excuse terrible behaviour (and some of it is beyond terrible), but it does remind us to look for everything, and even then, be mindful of judgement calls. As you say, it takes only one event/experience to set off a chain of events.

    You definitely nailed the ‘we don’t have to be friends, but we DO have to be friendly’. Respect goes a long way.

  • This is something I’ve thought a lot about, teaching my girls to be kind to people, even if those people aren’t particularly kind to them. It’s a hard one but you’ve definitely got me thinking some more.
    #teamIBOT

  • Ash Booths

    Hi
    Nice article. Thanks for sharing.

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