In a letter Jean Vanier wrote, he issued this challenge…
To be believe that each gesture has its weight in the balance of love and hate in the world.
A few weeks after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Stephen Jay Gould wrote in the NY Times:
“Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one. The tragedy of human history lies in the enormous potential for destruction in rare acts of evil, not in the high frequency of evil people. Complex systems can only be built step by step, whereas destruction requires but an instant. Thus, in what I like to call the Great Asymmetry, every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the ‘ordinary’ efforts of a vast majority.
We have a duty, almost a holy responsibility, to record and honor the victorious weight of these innumerable little kindnesses, when an unprecedented act of evil so threatens to distort our perception of ordinary human behavior.”
And John Blase posted on Twitter this week:
I believe it is indeed the small kindnesses that make a difference in our world gone wild. But Lord, help my unbelief.
Yes. The small kindnesses.
I’m a believer.