Fun fact: If people were actually as bad as we say they are, civilization could not exist.
So while the headlines are dominated by our weekly mass shootings, the reality is that day to day, we common folk make little sacrifices for each other and let insults slide and feel bad when we act like douchebags. Once the riot is over, cops and rioters will both stand and make small talk in the same line at Burger King.
Via Chicago Tribune
"If anyone disagrees with this place having the best chicken nuggets, I will change your mind with pepper spray."
We have a whole thread on our forum where we collect little bits to restore your faith in humanity, and I check on it every once in a while to remind myself why I shouldn't utter the magic world-ending incantation that old wizard taught me years ago. So let's sit back and celebrate ...
#6. Regular Folks Risking Their Asses to Stop Hatred
In the wake of a terrorist attack in Egypt that left 21 minority Christians dead at the hands of radical Muslims, there was fear throughout the country that any Christian gathering was a target. So when Christmas Eve came just a few days later, Christians left their houses for church services feeling like there was a bull's-eye on their back. And sure enough, what they found when they arrived at their Christmas Eve services was a mob of Muslims waiting for them.
The mob was there to deliver a very clear message: "If the terrorists want to kill you, they'll have to kill us, too." They were there to act as human shields.
This means they also missed the A Christmas Story marathon on cable.
In case you were wondering "Why would Christians even risk living in the Middle East in the first place?" you might be surprised to find out that Egypt is 10 percent Christian -- Christians and Muslims eat at the same restaurants and go see the same movies, and by God, they've got each others' backs when shit gets serious. Even in Iran, both Christianity and Judaism are legal and protected in their constitution. I guess what I'm trying to say is, none of this is as simple as the people with suits and podiums want you to believe.
The signs in these people's hands prove it.
Let's try an even more awesome example. In the war-ravaged African nation of Liberia, it's the Muslims who are the minority in a nation that is overwhelmingly Christian. They were in the middle of two consecutive decades of civil war, where factions of warlords basically staged a reality show where whoever committed the most atrocities won the country. Finally, a woman named Leymah Roberta Gbowee started convincing other women -- Muslims and Christians both -- to stand up and demand an end to the war. From mosque to church they went, recruiting women who were as fed up as they were.
"Let's full on Lysistrata this motherfucker."
These women proceeded to get right in the faces of the warlords, demanding an end to the violence. Keep in mind, this isn't like protesting in America, where maybe you get pepper sprayed and spend a night in jail on a disorderly conduct charge. These are warlords who used drugged children as battlefield drones and mutilated the faces and limbs of anyone who stood in their way. These are people who used rape as a military tactic.
But in 2003, this group of women protested and shouted and increased their numbers, demanding that the warring factions sit down at the peace table and hammer out a truce. And they did. They actually stopped the war just to shut them up. Liberia held its first democratic elections two years later.
And Leymah Roberta Gbowee went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.
Completely Unrelated Bonus Video:
No matter who you are or where you are from or what kind of day you are having, it is impossible not to respond to a toddler who is waving to you. Keep watching:
#5. Random Acts of Kindness from People Who Had No Reason to Care
When you work fast food, they're really not paying you enough money to give a shit. In fact, one of the only upsides of the job is that nobody expects you to.
So, for instance, if you're a delivery driver for Domino's, it's not like you have some close relationship with the people who greet you at the door. You probably don't even remember them, unless they keep opening the door nude. So, when delivery driver Susan Guy realized that a particular elderly woman had mysteriously stopped ordering pizzas, what reason did she even have to notice? Maybe somebody opened a Papa John's nearby. Maybe the lady went on a diet.
Maybe she died from eating all that fucking pizza.
But on a hunch, Guy jumped in her pizzamobile and, on her own time, drove out to the lady's house. She banged on the door. No answer. She banged on a window. Nothing. Finally she got a neighbor to call 911.
Stop and think about how foolish she would have looked if she were wrong here. Maybe the lady was just on vacation, maybe she had just run out to the store, maybe she would be furious that a stupid pizza delivery driver was nosing into her business. But when the cops came and forced the door, there was the old lady, lying where she had fallen three days earlier, unable to get to a phone.
No one else had checked on her, and no one else was going to. Except for pizza delivery woman Susan Guy, who had every right in the world to just shrug and go on with her day.
Making her the first pizza delivery person to increase someone's life expectancy.
Then we have Virginia Saenz. Let's say one day you get a wrong number phone call from a total stranger. It's a woman who leaves a nonsense message on your voice mail, addressing a person who doesn't live there, with a message that goes something like this: "I can send you money for groceries, but that won't leave me enough to pay my mortgage this month, and the house is already in foreclosure."
Saenz, a real estate agent whose only connection to these people was that her phone number was a couple of transposed digits away from theirs, could have just deleted the message. Or, if she was motivated to be a good Samaritan, Saenz could have called the person back to let her know she had gotten the wrong number, so she'd know that the person she had intended to call would never hear her message.
Or at least call her back so she could hear our cruel, mocking laughter at her misfortune.
But instead, Saenz called the stranger back and said, "I'll take care of the groceries, don't worry about it." The lady, Lucy Crutchfield, had meant to leave a message for her daughter. Saenz contacted the daughter and bought her and her family enough groceries to get them through the end of the month, allowing Crutchfield to pay her mortgage.
There are people who make a habit of this sort of thing, by the way. In Tennessee, a group of nine women have been running a secret charity for decades, just prowling around the city looking for strangers who'd had their power turned off, or who had just had a death in the family, whatever. Then they'd sneak by their home in the wee hours of the morning and drop off envelopes of cash and a freshly baked cake. Over the decades they've dispensed nearly a million freaking dollars this way.
They did it anonymously, on their own time, just for the pure hell of it.
Completely Unrelated Bonus Video:
A duck sharing its lunch with some fish:
#4. Real-Life Bruce Waynes
The problem with dreaming of being Batman is that in real life, spending your family fortune on martial arts training and grappling hooks wouldn't really do anybody any good. Stopping street crime requires a justice system, not vigilantes, and in the real world, supervillains work in offices behind a moat full of lawyers. There are ways to put your fortune to good use, however, without throwing a single bat-shaped shuriken at anyone.
"Of course, lil' Jimmy. I'll sucker punch the Joker twice for you."
Take Lenny B. Robinson, the Baltimore businessman who has poured more money than some of us make in a year into a full Batman costume and other gear to go entertain sick kids. He even bought a black Lamborghini and decked it out with bat symbols (though we suspect he would have done that anyway).
Via Washington Post
"In fact, doing that was the only reason I got rich in the first place."
He spends about $25,000 a year on this little crusade, buying toys and gifts to give out to kids suffering from leukemia and equally awful diseases. Yes, he's rich and he can do this kind of thing, but it's still nice to see an example of a rich guy giving back when you hear so much about pro athletes and such blowing their fortunes on bullshit. Hey, speaking of which ...
There was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers named Kim Hughes who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The doctor who was approved under his insurance plan was going to require him to wait a few months to do the surgery, and Hughes didn't want to (it would be risky, and that would require him to miss a good part of the upcoming season). He found another doctor willing to do it sooner, but the insurance company let him know that they wouldn't be paying for it.
Via LA Times
"Kim, can you lick my phone? Kim?"
It was a good thing he didn't wait -- the cancer, it turns out, was already starting to spread. But saving a life isn't cheap -- the bill wound up over $70,000, and Hughes and his family were going to get nailed for every penny. That is, until several Clippers players heard about the situation and told him not to worry about the bill. They just paid it themselves.
Though we guess all of this is small potatoes compared to Bill Gates. Once voted Most Likely to Carve His Face into the Moon With a Giant Laser, Gates has donated a mind-boggling $28 billion of his personal fortune to date. Billion, with a "b." As in, he's donated a million dollars 28,000 times over.
But then, he and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett convinced 57 billionaires around the world to give away half of their money to people in need, and got them to sign a pledge saying so. If you're sitting there thinking, "Yeah, but those guys can afford it!" you are profoundly misunderstanding how hard it is to separate the super rich from their money. That's how they got rich, after all. Right now, go to your nearest rich guy's mansion and ask for half his money. All you'll get is a bill two weeks later for the electricity the bodyguards used Tasering you.
"Tell you what -- these next four minutes are on the house."
Completely Unrelated Bonus Video:
A puppy learning how to roll over for the first time: