Yesterday I did a social experiment on Facebook. I made a post asking people on my friends list to comment with two words they felt described me. I was really surprised by the number of people who replied, and the honesty with which they spoke.
Their effort is something I chalk up to simple acts of kindness. This journal entry is both a thank you to them, and an explanation for why these little things matter so much to me. Maybe it's a reflection that I have a tendency to be a bit "too emotional" but I believe in the old adage which says "This above all: to thine own self be true."
Last night I watched this Ted Talk while having dinner. During the course of the talk I was moved to the point of tears by the touching story of how one person dedicated themselves to a road of hardship for the sake of helping someone else. This I think is an example of behavior we need to perpetuate and encourage in society. It's both amazing and humbling to me to realize how powerful one action can be in the course of another persons life.
I also think that we need to push for more examples of kindness and selflessness in our media. Recently I watched "Star Wars, The Force Awakens" for the first time. The film over all, was what I expected it to be. It's a neat looking science fiction tale, with some flashy action scenes and a sensible plot. What impressed me more than anything else was the scene where "Rey" is forced to decide the fate of a droid called "BB 8".
Earlier in the movie we can see that Rey is a survivor. She struggles each day just to scavenge enough materials to trade for food. When she's faced with the possibility of selling BB 8, she's offered a huge amount of food, and here is moment where her character is really defined.
She decides not to sell the droid, and the reasons why are never fully explained, but I'd like to think it was out of consideration. Her choice is a metaphor for the whole Star Wars series. At it's core its about the Jedi who serve other people, and those who choose the Dark Side because they focus on serving themselves.
There are other examples of this kind of attitude in shows like Star Trek The Next Generation. This episode is one such example. Here we see that Captain Picard fights for the right of self determination for his friend Data. In his argument he talks about the possibility of building thousands of other androids like Data and the implications of that creation. He asks, would they then become a "race" and more importantly "Won't we be judged by how we treat that race?"
I don't think he's talking about being judged by God. I think what he's really saying is that we are held accountable for our actions by our peers, and on a deeper level by ourselves. Every choice we make in life is valid and important, especially those that involve or effect other people.
We are all responsible for the state of the world that we're living in. That's why I write these blog posts. It's because I care and I want to try in my own way to make a difference, even if its only a single drop in a vast ocean. I'm not here to save the world, its too much of an undertaking for one person. I just want to be a tremor. One tiny vibration that sparks another, and another, building inertia and momentum until there becomes no distinction between you and I. A moment in time where love is both the means and the message.
On an end note let me ask of you all to please notice and appreciate the little things. Recognize and applaud the "everyday heroes" who give freely of themselves out of choice and not obligation. Be kind and giving to others if you can, regardless of who they are or how you perceive them. By doing so, you might find that you gain a lot more than you loose.