January 28, 2023

The Editor Speaks: Help

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We read continually about the destruction, rape, murder, violence, war, etc that humans inflict upon one another. It makes one wonder is there any goodness left in this world.

There is and far more than the bad news that makes up over 80% of the news we read.

The number one story heading our world news at the moment is the plight of the twelve boys and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand. Hundreds of volunteers have been trying to rescue them since they went missing on 23rd June.

I am not going to go into the details as not only we have been following the story but so has everyone else.

To date, the rescue mission that seemed impossible has to date been successful with eight of the boys now rescued. Hopefully the remaining will be rescued tomorrow.

My point of my editorial is when it matters the world helps even at the cost of people’s own lives to save strangers. And in the above mission one helping diver has lost his life.

This isn’t new. It wasn’t even new when the Good Samaritan stopped to help an injured man whom others had passed by. He felt compassion for a stranger in difficulty and, at some cost to himself, aided his recovery. He gained nothing other than the satisfaction felt when you know you’ve done the right thing, even though it was easier to walk on by.

Vince Raison, writing in The Huffington Post says:

“In 2015, Stanford University carried out an experiment with their students and a control group in which the former carried out five weekly acts of kindness, from buying food for the less fortunate, to helping someone with their homework. Over a six-week period the students reported higher levels of happiness than the other group, suggesting that being altruistic can actually make us happier.

“It may be hard to pinpoint why that is, but if you think of the feeling you get when you visit an elderly relative or help a friend in need, there’s a sense that you’ve done something that actually matters.

“And that is a contrast to most of our activities. You get the “I’m glad I did that,” feeling. It might not have been the activity you really felt like doing at that time, but it gave you a lift to know you did something for someone else’s benefit.

“Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, talks about whether we anticipate that warm feeling we get when we’re kind.

‘“My hunch is that people do have such intuitions. Whether the explanation is an evolutionary one (it is evolutionary-adaptive for humans to know that kind acts will make them happier and benefit them) or perhaps a social learning one (we simply recall having felt good after helping others in the past), we do seem to recognise that doing kind acts for others will make us happier – or will at least make us feel good temporarily.”

“Not that kindness is purely a matter of self-interest. Yes it feels good, but it’s not like a glass of beer, where you know how you’ll feel during and afterwards. It’s hard to comprehend the reward for kindness in advance, even if at some level you’re aware there is one.”

SOURCE: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/acts-of-kindness-why-helping-strangers-is-good-for-you_uk_595ba1ace4b02734df343b82?guccounter=1

Even Charles Darwin “argued that we are a caring and social species, that we are instinctively interested in each other and have a natural sympathy for each other.”

There have been so many illustrations recently of strangers saving strangers by throwing themselves into harms way to protect others from mad monsters intent on killing strangers for no real reason but the maniacal lust that they can.

Help from strangers goes on every single day. Most of the time it doesn’t get reported. Only every random killing does.

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