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Have you ever "restored faith in humanity?"

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Rusty Shackleford, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Playing off this thread: http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/94020/

    What's the nicest thing you've ever done for someone? Have you ever done something where, if others were to have seen it, they would have said you "restored their faith in humanity?"

    I have not. I've done nothing close. It makes me sad, really, and inspires me to try to find some way to leave a positive mark on the world. In fact, I have decided it is my goal that between now and Christmas, I do something to make a tangible, positive mark in the world. I intend to help someone, somewhere, in some way that improves their life and is a sacrifice on my end, either through the time or effort or cost (though this goes beyond simply donating to some cause) it requires.

    I guess I just want to see what others have done. Maybe it'll inspire an idea in me.
  2. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    I'm not that nice a person, actually.

    In college, I spent a year with a partner being in charge of international student outreach for the Baptist Campus Ministries. Outreach in this case meant driving a decrepit Econoline to the student center each Friday and picking up international students who needed to go shopping but had no car. Mostly it consisted of loading them up, driving across town to Walmart (sometimes the Asian grocery). while asking how they were, dropping them off and killing an hour while waiting to pick them up. Other than a Thanksgiving banquet we did, that was the crux of it. I don't think religion came up as a topic the entire time, although I would have been happy to share if asked.

    Mostly though, I don't do much besides give good foot massages.
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I once told someone that the quote goes inside the question mark unless the quoted phrase is a question.

    OK, on a less prickly note, I don't think people always realize when they do these kinds of acts. I think I posted here on either the letters thread or the thoughts thread about the time I held a door open for a couple at a fast-food place, and they went in, then allowed me ahead of them in line. I still remember that. It made me think well of that couple and of people in general. I am sure they don't have any recollection of it at all and probably forgot they did it by the time they sat down with their food.
  4. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I don't know about "restored faith in humanity," but I've tried to make regular acts of kindness a part of who I am. Once or twice a month I'll pay the tab for the car behind me in the drive-through. Does this change the course of history? Let's not get carried away. Still, there is a warm fuzzy to comes with knowing you've made someone's day.

    I sometimes help those who appear to need it, though not always. Stuff like assisting a little old lady in the Wal-Mart parking lot who is trying to get a microwave oven loaded into her car. For me what it boils down to is trying to be a decent human being. I suspect that a bit of self examination would reveal to all of us that we could do more.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Restored faith in humanity? Boy that's a tall order.

    Best I can do is when I made an unexpected, one-day-notice appearance from 3,000 miles away at the funeral of a friend's husband. Made no mention that I was coming because the flight connections were so tight that any hiccup meant I wouldn't get there, plus the last thing I wanted to do was make my friend think about logistics of where I'd sleep or how I'd get around.

    So many years later, I can still feel the hug I got when I walked in the door at the wake.
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    The woman who cuts my hair once told me that if she does one good deed a year, that's enough. I like her, she's always nice to me, but there is a difference between being nice and being good. At least that's what I tell myself, because I can be an asshole as often as not.

    The biggest good deed I did involved some serious physical danger to myself, but I hesitated for a minute or so before doing it because there were a bunch of people watching the poor guy and I was hoping someone else would do it, but no one else did. I'm still not sure if it qualifies as a big deal because I think I just didn't want to have the inaction on my conscience. And I'm not sure I would have done it if my future wife hadn't been with me and might have thought I was just your average chickenshit person if I had just stood there, gawking, like 50 other people.

    I've stood up for people in work situations, and it might or might not be coincidence that the glass offices I confronted were people I didn't like anyway.

    When I was single, there were some women I didn't bang because I knew I was leaving town soon and it wouldn't be fair to them, or knew I had no romantic interest in them and would just have to hurt them, or they were married. One of the married ones took it as a personal rejection instead of seeing it as me not wanting to complicate her life while she and hubby were having problems, and it cost me a friendship I had enjoyed a great deal, so in ensuing years I sometimes wish I had just laid her because the friendship ended anyway and I have little doubt that she would have been awesome. Again, not sure if I was trying to be a good guy or simply trying to avoid being a bad one.

    Motive is important. And motive can be complicated. The answer is I guess I will find out in the afterlife, if there is one.
  7. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Random acts of kindness.
    Best part of every week.
  8. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    I like to think I have, though as others have said that's an incredibly tall order.

    I volunteer with my local children's hospital as a playroom assistant (last night's highlights - helping to referee intense games of Memory and Sorry and making a little girl with one arm laugh her head off by stuffing my UNO cards behind my glasses to demonstrate ways you could hold your cards when you only have one hand). I like to think being there to provide levity and distraction and the ability for a parent to run errands like laundry and taking care of siblings while their sick child is in good hands does something to help families going through the unimaginable.

    I also volunteer with Make-a-Wish as a wish granter, which is a ridiculously amazing experience. I know some of those families are absolutely effusive in their praise of us, but I like to think I get more out of those families and kids. I've had families that exclusively adopted multiple medically fragile kids so they won't have to spend their already-difficult lives in foster care, and I know kids who have had the worst things in the world happen to them who are just... amazingly happy and present and not bitter at all. It's inspiring.

    On the thread that inspired this, there's a link to a kid whose parents turned his wheelchair into an awesome costume. One of my wish kids had her chair turned into what I think is an even more awesome costume (I can't post pictures because of privacy issues, but it picture liberal use of flexible white pipe and blue gauzy fabric to turn a little girl's chair into the spitting image of Cinderella's carriage). So while she was busy thanking us for helping her meet the princesses, all I could think of was she was the one who was bringing the hope and faith to the equation, not us.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    i always seem to end up living next to the recently widowed elderly lady. i may not make the world a better place, but i make old ladies' lawns sing, dammit.
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Without a doubt, my Fuck Tha Police thread restored everyone's faith in humanity.
  11. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    "Straight Outta Compton" was the better song.
  12. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Straight Outta Locash. Crazy motherfucker named Dead Mike ...
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