I know it’s an advert, I know the brand involved has a profit-focussed agenda, but if they truly got the images from real security cameras (as seems likely) then there is certainly reason for cheer.
So often it’s easy to throw negative generalisations around about ‘people’. I did it yesterday and (quite rightly) got told off by my friend. It’s so easy to take your own perspective, anxieties, fears, upsets and personal turmoils and project them, venting your anger and frustration on a nameless, faceless group who represent whatever it is that’s upsetting you.
This might make an effective short-term solution in the same way that a toddler manages their anger by having a tantrum, but, as with the tantrum, the underlying problem is not resolved.
And those problems – what are they?
Literature and popular science seem to suggest that the underlying causes are not the big negatives we hear so often; power. greed, prejudice and the like – these are merely the triggers and tend to be external to us. Can we justifiably say ‘I had a meltdown because of so-and-so’s greed’?
The things which push us over the edge tend to be more personal, often more internal than we think – feelings of powerlessness, lack of acknowledgement, insecurity, remaining unaffirmed, in some cases, ignorance.
Until we see all people impartially – until we see that each human being is not measurable by their economic status, academic achievements, looks, capabilities, opinions, contributions to society and yes, even their behaviours; but each is worth something because they are human, we as a society will struggle.
When we realise this, we might be able to act with compassion. It’s a long way away, but the video shows that there are moments out there which give one solid cause to hope, and while that ember of hope still glows, we can join in fanning that tiniest of flames and hold onto the ideal that one day each person will be considered valuable and will be treated as such.
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth. Be content.” – C. S. Lewis
My challenge to myself this week (and feel free to join in) is to try to see the value in people. Try to see their negative behaviours as products of poor nurture and the broken world we live in, and try to celebrate their positive behaviours as the shining triumph that is the human soul as it seeks to reach out to other people.
I shall seek to love, to acknowledge, to support and affirm. I shall seek to improve my knowledge on things I might have an opinion on but not truly have a grasp on. I shall seek to make a difference, however small, and know that it counts.