Recently, a story appeared in the media which resonated with the British public. It concerned an elderly gentleman who was struggling to get home while carrying heavy bags of shopping. He was seen by a Police officer, who came to his assistance, and the moment was captured on camera before going viral across social media networks.
The Police officer involved later commented on the story with humility, saying he had done nothing more than any of his colleagues do each and every day. And no doubt that is true.
Perhaps the real story here was not so much the ‘ordinary’ actions of a kindly Police officer, but the reaction to the story – it seemed to touch something within the public consciousness; had that not been the case, the story would never have travelled so far and wide. And yet, it did.
I wonder if, in these days of terrible atrocities and enormous inhumanity seemingly at every level, one simple act of human compassion has the power to remind us most effectively that yes, there are indeed still good people out there, quietly doing good things. And of course, there are many such people – it’s just that they tend not to make the news very often.
But once in a while, their kindness touches something within us. This was such an occasion.