I am not a misanthrope. This is me we're talking about. I openly adore happy endings and smiling at strangers. I want the good guy to win. Always. But sometimes optimism fades.
As a society we are confronted frequently by our actions. The seedy underbelly of humanity is laid bare on a daily basis, stripped of benevolence. Through media we have no choice but to meet with our failings, or as such, the failings of others. Sex isn't the only thing that sells. Add violence and corrupt politicians and you've got one big money-making equation.
Day after day I read some version of kids murdering kids, people enslaving people. Governments stealing from their own country. Abuse. Fraud. Theft. The list is endless. Out in the world we exist together, and yet so far apart. People on the street are lost; passers-by a void around them. Hold open a door for someone and you won't get a thank-you in return. Sometimes it's the little things.
Repeatedly I get knocked; gradually I am worn, eroded. That's when the optimism, the faith in humanity, starts to wane.
But today there was hope. I awoke this morning to stories that recharged my belief that, at its very heart, humanity can be good. People can be good. A small group of British Firefighters are off to help search for survivors in the aftermath of the Samoa tsunami. The knowledge that these men are to risk their lives for others, in a country that on any other day we would not think about, warms my soul.
In addition to this story, a British football team stopped a woman from jumping to her death from the Humber Bridge. This simple act of kindness to someone in need reminds us of the invisible ties that bind us. Humanity, in its most basic form, can be found in the strangest of places.
As a result (for now at least) I find my faith in humanity restored. Or should that be faith in footballers...?