Friday, July 20, 2012

Arithmatic of humanity

Between this (we knew him, but didn't like him, even before) and this (made what should have been happy, tragic), a bunch of my friends keep thinking, "man, humanity is sad, sad, sad." I want to restore faith in humanity for them, but how?

Does it require big acts of kindness to counter-act big acts of violence and hate? Or is the quiet, well-lived life that keeps plodding along trying to to its best, enough? Today on the radio, the old-timey radio station was commercial- and pledge-free because of "a friend in North Austin" and a bunch of my friends are pitching in to buy diapers for low-income mothers.I want to do grand acts of kindness, but I don't know if I can, right now. Does that count in the balance?

Is faith in humanity a series of bank transactions, deposits and withdrawals, so that acts of cruelty and callousness must be counter-acted by well-meaning patsies who have to try to buoy up humanity well enough to keep Q (or almost any alien) from justifiably destroying us? I'm kind of thinking one Kiva loan isn't going to be enough to hold it off.

Maybe. In The Brothers Karamotzov, there's a story told about a mean lady whose only act of kindness is giving a beggar an onion and it's that onion that keeps her from being dragged off to hell. So how small of a good act can we do to restore humanity's faith in humanity? What good is good enough? What can be done? What will be done?

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