Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Kindness Is Not Dead, We Just Ignore It
This is a great video. If you have a spare 20 minutes, you won't regret it. Funny, thought-provoking, and feel-good without giving up the core of serious thought that makes so many TED Talks worth watching.
This guy's presentation got me to thinking on a line of thought that other TED Talks and my own experiences got me started on a while back. The world really isn't that bad of a place, something yesterday's post alluded to, although in very somber, morbid tones. We tend to get caught up in the bad stuff, the disasters, the violence, even though those events are a very small part of what goes on in many places, especially the types of places my readers are likely to hail from. The world, outside of areas of extreme poverty, is a pretty safe place and one full of people willing to help, people who aren't murdered, and people who don't murder.
There are bad people and bad things happen; I just don't think they're as common as we normally think. We tend to perk up and pay attention when bad things happen. It's a useful trait. Back in the day, it kept us from eating that poisonous fish that killed Ug the week before or trying to play hide and seek with a bear cub because we remembered what happened to Ug's dumbass cousin. (Don't worry, Ug's family tree died out long before you came around.) It's just that it also keeps us from realizing that the world, and most of the people in it, isn't such a scary place anymore.
You'll have to forgive my syrupy positivity today. The air conditioner in my classroom died after lunch yesterday with a faint puff of smoke and a wave of ozone and burnt dust. I spent half of my day sweating and trapped with whining 16-year-olds in a windowless room at the center of the building. I mentioned this to my principal this morning and she was reaching for her cell to report the problem before I even finished my second sentence. The cooling system was repaired before lunch. That's just one small example of why my current boss is quite possibly the best one I've ever had. It's a shame that to leave the classroom for a more appropriate work environment that I'll probably have to leave this school.