Perhaps it’s a time of life thing, I don’t know, but I’m struck every day by the wave of warmth that exists in the heart of humanity and I want to talk that up, to bring it centre stage and open mic.
Not because I live in some sort of comfy little rabbit hole, somehow not noticing catastrophic tragedies in personal and world affairs, but rather – and precisely – because I have noticed, and am often sick to the pit of my stomach by so much I see and hear.
Myriad undisputed tragedies cannot blind us to the reality of corresponding goodness, and the abiding potential in millions for something better, richer, higher – hope for humanity’s future instead of succumbing to the notion that all things will always be dire.
And whilst some poison our days with processed predictions of doom, I want, always and everywhere, to flag up other world views – of goodness and hope and self-giving – the billions of gifts in the world that make life worth living.
Paint a picture of a world going to hell in a handcart and our progress thereto quickens. Love and notice healthy aspiration, deep contemplation, positive education, sustaining meditation, and the temperature changes. Hard edges soften.
We can be hopeful, and maybe more useful, a little more often.
I’ve kept company this week with some of the bravest, most self-giving, kind, imaginative and warm people one could meet. None of them are presidents or prime ministers. Some of them, with sometimes extraordinary back-stories, have been baking cakes on a television show and their goodness has touched me.
With others I’ve celebrated the gift of writing and the richness that directs and informs every sentence or stanza. We’re inter-connected. I’m aware, too, of journalists, peace-keepers and exhausted surgeons, giving of themselves to the limits of human endurance, who couldn’t be asked for more, but give more anyway.
Money and self-interest are not, in the final analysis, the only things that make the world go round. Not the things that make any of us great, ever, still less again.
I’m seeing greatness in little hospitalities, life-enhancing generosities, hospital runs, tea and buns, charity giving, letters, poetry, stories, outstretched hands, encouragement, teaching, reaching, listening – the everyday nudges to keep on living this gift-of-a-life to the full.
Warmth, warmth, warmth in the heart of humankind. May I not be blind to the reality of that presence – or too casually forget to contribute to it.