As I read (because I find it too hard to watch) the unimaginable story of Isis putting a Jordanian pilot they were holding hostage, in a cage and burning him alive, and think that the world has gone straight to hell, do-not-pass-go, do-not-collect-$200 HELL, I read the story of James Robertson, who walks 21 miles to work everyday, and hasn’t missed even one day of his job in a factory, in 12 years, and the college student, Even Leedy, who read the same story, and started a Go Fund Me account hoping to raise Mr. Robertson some money for bus fare, but instead raised him enough money to buy a car, or two. And I think, there is such evil and such good. And what we fill ourselves with is our choice.
Already Jordan has retaliated by executing two prisoners. The pattern of violence and killing will continue, and poison us all on our news feeds. I fight with myself about staying informed, and keeping my sanity in check.
But maybe more people will do what Evan Leedy did. Maybe that story will inspire more of us to reach out and help people we don’t even know. This is the kind of human kindness that creates a better world. It’s the sort of thing that even reading about makes me feel hopeful. ISIS fills me with dread and fear. The very stuff that stomps all over the spirit.
James Robertson’s story makes me want to do better, and be better. That’s what I want to breed inside my body, and spread out there in the world, like a happy virus. And gratitude for that.