Just when you start despairing for humanity, people surprise you by doing something wonderful.
Like those divers who risked their lives to rescue a boys’ soccer team trapped in a cave.
Actually, I still despair for humanity, but god bless those heroes for giving so much to get those kids to safety.
Among them was Adelaide anaesthetist and underwater cave explorer Richard Harris, who was the last person to leave the cave after the mission.
There have been calls from hundreds of Australians on social media for him to be given the Australian of the Year award for his heroics in the incredible rescue mission.
“If ever a bloke deserved to be Australian of the Year it’s this man,” wrote one commenter on Twitter. “He’s what embodies the true spirit of this country.”
“Words can’t even describe how proud this guy makes me feel to be Australian,” wrote another. “In a world where we sometimes honour people for the most meaningless reasons, surely it’s time we recognised a real-life hero like Richard Harris.”
It makes a beautiful change from the videos that keep popping up in my Facebook feed, featuring racists rants at checkouts/swimming pools/bus stops/lawns, filmed by shocked bystanders on their phones.
Have there always been so many hideous people in the world or does modern technology simply make it easier to publicly shame them?
I can’t fathom how they justify treating their fellow human beings that way.
If it’s not them it’s a troll making someone’s life a misery on social media.
The latest example was a series of attacks on Carly Findlay, a blogger, writer, speaker and appearance activist who has a rare, severe skin condition called Ichthyosis.
Carly wrote on Facebook: “To my regular troll, who laughs at my outfits and the articles I write or am featured in, who lodges complaints about my work, who leaves bad reviews for companies I’ve worked for, who digs at mine and others’ appearances, who is passive aggressive and gaslights: I see you.”
What she said next resonated strongly with me: “I hope you find happiness and love soon.
“And I hope you find something really meaningful to do with your time. What wonderful things you could be doing if you weren’t trolling me!
“How hurt and sad you must be. We’ve never met and you’ve got such a big issue with me.
“I hope you get the help you need.
“But if you want to publicly berate, gaslight and criticise me, that’s fine, because it will shine a light on your ethics, values and behaviours.
“Go live your best life. Do or say something kind about a stranger on the Internet.
“Forget about me. Trust me, you’ll be much happier.”
Don’t you think those words have such a wide application? I’d like to say them to anyone making someone else’s life miserable through some misplaced sense of injustice.
As Carly notes, it shines a light on their ethics, values and behaviours.
There is no excuse for nastiness in real life or on social media, both stain your soul.
And, if you’re a parent, it taints your kids. How can they grow up to be healthy, functional, thoughtful people if they see you behaving poorly?
Help them understand that kindness is a far better attribute than cunning.
Ensure they are emotionally strong adults who don’t think the world owes them something.
Have you seen this social media post?
I feel a bit sorry for the poor mite, thinking he had to make that sort of decision. But you’d prefer your kid to be selfless like him than grow up so over-entitled that they become – for example – elder abusers.
There was a recent case in Hobart where a man stole $280,000 from his sick, widowed mother aged in her 90s, leaving her unable to pay her nursing homes fees. He was sentenced to almost three years’ jail.
We get so caught up in getting our “fair share”, then decide we deserve more, more, more.
Problem is, when you start thinking like that, nothing will ever be enough.
Song of the day: U2 “Walk on”