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Through rose tinted glasses: Faith in humanity

Sometimes I lose my faith in humanity and have little hope for the future. The news headlines from this past week alone are enough to break any sane person’s spirit. These headlines scream murder and mayhem and they paint a bleak picture of human nature and our ability to rise above our base instincts. In …

Sometimes I lose my faith in humanity and have little hope for the future.

The news headlines from this past week alone are enough to break any sane person’s spirit. These headlines scream murder and mayhem and they paint a bleak picture of human nature and our ability to rise above our base instincts.

In Paris gunmen mowed down the employees of a satirical magazine over their publications of cartoons depicting a religious icon.

In London two airports had to be evacuated in two months’ time after very real terror threats.

In the US civil war seems to brew over perceived police brutality and racism and citizens are staging protests, some of them quite violent, against the police.

In the Middle East Israel and Palestine fire on each other every day, hundreds of people die in Irak on a monthly basis and the Yemen is in turmoil while terror organisations like Al Qaida run rampant.

Violent gangs and armies tear through many countries in Africa, leaving death and destruction in their wake. Not even the children are spared. Children as young as seven-years-old are kidnapped, tortured and forced to join rebel armies as child soldiers. The horror that these children have to look at every day is unthinkable.

In central Europe, Russia and the Ukraine are at each other’s throats.

You couldn’t blame somebody for thinking that we were in the middle of a world war if the headlines are anything to go by.

The story doesn’t read much better here in South Africa.

Recently newspapers and other news media were dominated by reports of xenophobic attacks in Soweto, spreading to other parts of Gauteng.

What started out as people’s anger over the death of a teenager after a foreign national shot him, soon turned into something much uglier.

Upstanding citizens turned into looters and formed crazed mobs to ransack foreign owned shops. The looters took everything they could and even admitted to going back for seconds. The violence escalated out of control and some of the looters even gutted an old man and set him alight.

The baying mob’s thirst for blood is hard to quench.

But then, just as I start to think that there is no hope left for us, people surprise me with outpourings of love and caring.

After Review published the story of Henda Nel, a 19-year-old woman who suffers from cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant, the reaction was overwhelming.

People asked how they could help Henda, how they could be tested to see if they were suitable donors and how they could raise funds for her.

Business owners, sports teams, social clubs and musicians volunteered their services to help raise funds to pay for Henda’s transplant and the expensive medical tests that have to be done to find the right donor.

People who don’t know Henda from Adam want to pitch in and help her.

My faith in humanity is restored.

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