This weekend, I had the most harrowing personal experience. An online friend was going through a hard time, which I got to know through her social media postings and I had to intervene and get her the help that she needed. It took me hours to handle the crisis. I couldn’t sit idly by when someone was in pain. The next morning I talked to the hospital to check on her. Once I knew she was resting and getting the care she needed, I felt this huge adrenaline letdown and my entire body was fatigued and my spirit was tired. All this for one evening’s stress about someone who might have been in danger. I cannot even imagine what the thousands of refugees endure through loss of home, family, and everything that they know.
Evolution has wired us to be compassionate to like-others. It makes good genetic sense to be compassionate to our family and friends, kith and kin. In our modern world, an online friend is a member of your tribe. Not too long ago, anyone who did not look like us or share our skin color or family history was an enemy and was killed. My experience with this incident makes me so much more appreciative of people who are compassionate to distant others. Like the Prime Minister of Finland who opened up his home to refugees. And the Swedish Prime Minister and Swedish citizens who said that their Europe takes in refugees. And the Germans who are cooking with the refugess. France and UK have promised to take 44,000 refugees.
This is progress. Despite all the negative images that media blasts us with day after day, this is evolution of us as a human race. Why would people help others with whom they do not share bonds of affection or kinship? I think it is because we, humans, are capable of moral imagination. That is exactly how we survived and thrived for millions of years. I end this long, busy weekend with hope. Hope that we will be okay because we take care of each other.