As humans, we give ourselves a horrible rep. Every time we turn on the news, there seems to be more evidence supporting the “humans are inherently evil” argument. And there is no credible way to deny that there are some truly awful people in the world doing some truly awful things. There are so many lists of terrible statistics that anyone would start to feel discouraged about the state of our species.
But then again, we tend to forget the hundreds, thousands, millions and sometimes billions of dollars that get sent around the world in situations where people are in desperate need of aid. For every major world disaster, not only do governments step in and offer money, but charities crop up and people show up: volunteers, military forces, church groups, peace corps, just tons and tons of people coming together. Sometimes these people fly halfway around the world just to hand out bottled water after terrible earthquakes or storms.
Let’s not forget the huge number of people who have, over the years, delved deep into inhospitable or unknown regions to bring food, hope and medical attention to communities unknown to most of the world.
I bet that if someone were to add up all the money given to any charities or tithed to any churches, that number would be absolutely staggering.
It doesn’t matter why we do it: if we do it in the name of our god or gods, if we do it in the hopes of bettering humanity or giving our children a brighter, safer world. It doesn’t matter if we do it because it’s how we were raised, or because we are outraged at the current state of things. The fact of the matter is, humans do huge amounts of good every day, for a hundred thousand different reasons. We deal in hope as well as destruction, in love as well as hate. You cannot simply say human nature is “good” or “bad.” It’s human nature. Personally, however, I see plenty of reason to be hopeful.