You guys, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. There are days where I hear/read the news and have a visceral reaction. And let’s be real, as of late, it’s every day.
The recent increase in hate crimes against Indians are what have my blood boiling right now. The stories I read make me so angry/sad/worried/etc. I literally sobbed at my desk while reading Sunayana Dumala’s, wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was killed at a Kansas City bar, heartbreaking Facebook post.
I hate to say this, but my faith in humanity slips away with every single incident like this one (and so many others). It sounds a little ridiculous, given how many more amazing humans there are inhibiting this Earth (like Ian Grillot who stood up for the two Indian men in Kansas City), but I can’t help it.
To help counter this not so positive way of thinking, I find myself scanning my environment every chance I get looking for glimpses of good, kindhearted people. The gentleman who held the door for the elderly lady the other morning, the lady who let me cut in front of her as I exited the parking lot (she even waved and smiled at me!), our doormen who ALWAYS greet us with smiles on their faces, etc. There is all kinds of goodness all around us…we just have to look for it.
In fact, I was able to experience firsthand how good people can be. And with that experience, my faith in humanity was restored to a degree…
Vishnu and I met up with his med school friend for dinner on Saturday night. The restaurant is walking distance away, but we decided to take a Lyft because of the weather. We got to the restaurant, chatted, ate dinner, and got ready to pay our bill. While asking Vishnu if he wanted me to use my credit card, I pulled my purse into my lap and saw that my wallet was no where to be found. “Weird. I must of left it at home,” I thought.
Fast forward to us arriving home (2 hours later). I couldn’t get my ‘missing’ wallet out of my mind, so Vishnu and I searched high and low for about 15 minutes before reconvening in the living room. “My wallet must have fell out of my purse in the Lyft we took to the restaurant,” I said to Vishnu. He immediately took my phone and found the driver’s number. I called Alvin (the world’s best Lyft driver!), and the first thing he said to me was, “I have your wallet. A couple of riders after you found it. I can bring it by your place after I finish up this last ride.” “THANK YOU, ALVIN!,” I screamed.
And as promised, Alvin showed up at our place a little after 11:30 with my wallet in hand (and 100% in tact…nothing was missing). I gave him cash, thanked him at least five times, called him my angel (ha!), and said good-bye. A very relieved and tired Parita made her way upstairs. As I laid in bed that night, I thought about how easy it would’ve been for Alvin to ignore my phone calls or take my cash. But he didn’t. He went out of his way to ensure I got my wallet that very night.
I know this incident doesn’t even compare to the gut-wrenching things people are experiencing right now, but connecting with people like Alvin helps me realize that on a grander scale we will overcome the craziness that lies ahead. That somehow, even when terrible things happen, people will come together and help one another.
I guess this post was just a long way of saying…thank you, Alvin, for restoring my faith in humanity and it’s inherent goodness!
10 thoughts on “Restoring My Faith in Humanity”
I know what you mean. I wake up, see the news, and get angry all over again. My daily habit of trolling the GOP on Twitter probably doesn’t help either. Oops.
The Lyft driver is a great reminder that there is still a lot of good out there.
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I need to stop trolling him on Twitter too. While it can be amusing, I tend to get angry more than anything!
If I may, your post strikes a chord because I truly believe that the world is sick right now. Politicians and the big wigs are pulling wool over people’s eyes by playing the racial card.
I feel very sorry for the poor lady and times must be pretty bad in the US right now for any person of colour, even if they are born and bred Americans.
As an ethnic Chinese (but a non-European), I always felt home when I was studied, lived and worked in London and Paris for 10 years. However, when I flew to London recently, the racial tension in certain areas was definitely palpable and I can no longer call London my second home.
I left Europe for many reasons to return home in Africa, but my siblings are currently studying in England and braving the situation there. It’s astonishing how savage some people can be especially in the wake of the Brexit. I think it’s the same issue in a lot of Western countries. After the Brexit and Trump’s election, I can only hope that France does not vote for Marine Le Pen and her extreme right wing cronies.
It’s actually funny how people (including myself in my 20s) in my home country always thought that the grass is greener elsewhere and moved mountains to emigrate to Europe and the US. The tables have turned now and I honestly believe that life is better here in my tiny dot of a country in Africa.
One thing that does not cease to astonish me is that people tend to refer themselves as “Indian American” or “British born Chinese” as if they have to make that distinction between their ethnicity and their nationality.
You will never catch someone here in Mauritius saying that he/she is Indo-Mauritian or Sino-Mauritian or Mulatto-Mauritian. Those denominations do not exist. We simply say that we are Mauritian, and oh how non-Mauritians say “but what are you reaaaalllly”. Perhaps it is simply because we are all immigrants and no one (apart from the dodo!!) is indigenous. I do hope one day that people can learn from my rainbow nation.
From what I have witnessed during my years abroad and my travels, despite the melting pot of cultures in the West (or for that matter, the East like Singapore or Malaysia), people do not genuinely tend to mix. The whites stick amongst themselves, the blacks amongst themselves and so on. I, myself, have been discriminated against by Taiwanese and Hong Kongese students at university because my first language is French and I do not speak Mandarin. It strikes me how narrow vision makes people “scared” of unknown things, which unfortunately is the seed to xenophobia. Like Albert Camus’s famous quote goes “L’enfer c’est les autres” (Hell is the others).
With an open mind and heart, I think people have a lot to learn from other cultures and ethnicities. I genuinely pray that the world will be a better place for our children and the generations to come.
Thanks for sharing your story, Lola.
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Lola. My mom mentioned that you comment is something she can really relate to, as her and my dad came to the States, “the land of opportunity,” in hope for a more inclusive, brighter future for us all. And while they are still happy, they do sometimes question if it’d be better to be back in India.
My prayer is the same as yours. Let’s make this world a better place…one small act of kindness at a time! Sending lots of love and peace your way!
yayyy Alvin. We need more Alvin’s in this world. i am on the same page as you, with so much going on i lose faith in humanity too but something simple yet significant happens and it changes everything.
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Absolutely. It doesn’t take something big to shift our perspectives.
Every day small acts of kindness really do go a long way! Thank goodness for people like Alvin!
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My thoughts exactly!
Oh man Parita, this was such a heartfelt post. I actually read the Facebook Message you linked to and I was tearing up, can’t imagine how you must have felt with baby hormones. This world is a scary place now, I find myself being more alert when riding the subway and being more aware of my surroundings. it’s just sad that’s what it’s come to. I’m glad ALvin returned your wallet, there is goodness, I believe there are more good people than bad.
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