Working in peace and social justice can be incredibly exhausting. To work for peace is an exercise in making what Reinhold Niebuhr called the “impossible possibility.” To trudge chest deep in pain, suffering, war, genocide, and famine can lead to fatigue and burnout.
There are always those inspiring stories, that seem too far and in between: people overcoming violence to do great and heroic things. And those stories are important. Then there are the stories of people who stand up in the face of injustice and work to right past wrongs. Those stories are important as well.
But sometimes, what really makes me most hopeful are random acts of kindness. To see people stand up and make a gesture to help a stranger with no need of recognition or compensation. Rather, they just help because they can.
There is a short video going around in the Do It Yourself community about Tweenbots. These little robots travel in a straight line at a constant speed with a flag asking for a push in the right direction. They rely on the kindness of strangers to get to where they are going.
The creator then follows the robot with a hidden camera. And the footage is pretty amazing. Perfect strangers in midtown Manhattan stopping to point a little robot in the right direction.
It warms my heart.
I think we need more stories of random acts of kindness in our daily lives.