Goodness abounds, yes, it does.
We don’t hear or read about it enough but trust me, hatred and evil have got nothing on goodness and kindness in our world.
It has been said that it is the horrific stories that make headlines and quite frankly, that is true. Newspapers, magazines, television and social media news outlets clamber after Breaking News in their attempts to be the first to offer their take on ongoing incidents. Clamber means to “climb, move, or get in or out of something in an awkward and laborious way.” Can’t you visualize hungry journalists doing just that: pushing others out of the way, pulling yet others down in their singular effort to be first?
I am all for free journalism; without it I would not be writing this 990th post, so bring it on in all its raging color…however, wouldn’t it be rewarding to have our day interrupted by Breaking News that reports on the good and kind incidents that occur as well?
All right, I’ll do just that. Allow me to introduce you to two wonderful souls who have brought light into the darkness. This is Breaking News of the very best kind.
Sophie Andrews is a person who learned the hard way – one of the hardest – that The best way to help is often just to listen. Sophie was on death’s door – you have to listen to the 14-minute TED talk to learn of the details when a volunteer at UK’s Samaritan helpline picked up the phone and changed 14-year old Sophie’s life forever. Years later, Sophie gave back and paid it forward by starting a helpline for some of the most vulnerable human beings in society who are lonely and without access or means for socialization. Her Silver Line fields more than 1500 calls a day, making the lives of more than 550,000 UK senior citizens brighter, fuller and healthier each year.
Dixon Chibanda, one of 12 psychiatrists in the entire country of Zimbabwe – a country of 16 million people – created a program to treat individuals in need of psychiatric or psychological counseling: The friendship bench program – or why I train grandmothers to treat depression. This program was birthed when a desperate young woman didn’t have the minimal bus fare needed to commute the 15 kilometers to meet with him in person and who suffered the tragic consequences. Dr. Chibanda created a program that brings care and hope to those in need powered by a limitless resource: grandmothers. Sitting on a bench, talking to someone who listens without judgment serves to make a difference in the mental health of thousands across his country and other countries as well – including the United States where a similar program has been started. Please take 12 additional minutes out of your day and listen to the TED talk I have linked above.
Listening – a free resource that is oftentimes not employed when needed the most; listening that actively tunes into the person speaking.
If you are someone who sets resolutions or intentions for the new year, perhaps practicing the art of listening might be at the top of your 2019 list.
I know it is on mine.
This perp is an insult to the human race and to women everywhere:
A senior manager at Microsoft in Redmond was working late – not unusual I guess – but what was unusual was what transpired during his overtime.
He approached a 32-year old woman on the building’s cleaning crew and asked her to follow him to his office. This dedicated cleaning employee thought perhaps something needed to be cleaned in his office so she dragged her cleaning cart with her. Nope! He threw her to the ground and raped her; and as she lay on the ground in pain and shame, he walked out of the building to throw away the condom he used during the rape – gotta hide that evidence!
The first cleaning company manager she complained to following the rape (it’s 1 a.m. by this time) dismissed her allegations. I guess he didn’t want to miss any of his beauty sleep. The second manager with whom she spoke the next evening – a woman – did not, and she called 911.
The senior manager was fired by Microsoft, was arrested and had to surrender his passport. When he was arrested, the perp said that the cleaning woman forced him to have sex and that he was afraid of her but he left his office to go to his car to retrieve a condom because he felt he had no choice but to let her force him to have sex. (Gee – if he was so afraid, why didn’t he just get in his car and leave?) He said he should have been stronger but he was missing his wife who had been in India for the past few weeks.