When I was in my early twenties, I worked as a full time volunteer for my church for eighteen months. During this time, I once estimated that I talked to roughly 10,000 people.
I met a lot of people. A LOT.
Fat, short, thin, balding, same, different, religious, not, nice, mean, funky, strange, drugged, homeless, gay, straight, orange--you name it-- I've met them. Volunteering eighty hours a week and talking with literally thousands of people in such a concentrated period of time, I learned one beautiful thing: People are amazing.
People make our world the wonder that it is.
Alas, this week we've also been reminded that people can produce darkness that is beyond comprehension.
Recently, I was told that I, "Just haven't been peaceful"--like it was a bad thing. I suppose for this person, who loves me, it was.
I responded, "How can I know true peace unless there's an absence of it from time to time?"
Often, people often do things to us (or near us) that produce feelings of negativity in our lives. That lady who cuts me off in traffic, the guy who yells at his kids, and even individuals who plan deliberate violence against innocents can and do effect our lives in quantifiable ways that often will lead us through the uncharted waters of our spirits. We may not make it through without help; but eventually, we will make it through.
And do you know why?
Because of people. Lovely, amazing and beautiful people will run to us, hands outstretched, willing to lift us up and even carry us to safety if need be.
As Gandhi said, "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
People have such great capacity for love, understanding, compassion and kindness.
Humanity is vast and glorious, confusing and profane; yet even as one causes harm, hundreds of others are reaching out to help and comfort.
People bring me joy. Who brought you joy today?