It’s a bit of a stretch to say that the human race is doomed. I constantly hear different opinions from people all around the world, claiming that humans are inherently evil, as if we have accomplished nothing in the thousands of years that mankind has existed. The suffering that surrounds us seems to cancel out the good that we have brought into the world, but it is important to acknowledge our achievements, both big and small, so we know that humans are not as screwed as some pessimists claim. There are countless actions that the human race has taken to positively impact societies, and in a world where violence is acknowledged far more than amity, it is important to remember the goodness in life once in awhile.
Humans are ultimately human. We can be placed in diverse situations that test our loyalty to the human race, but it has been scientifically proven that no matter our differences, a person’s first, natural instinct is to help a fellow human standing before them. According to Scientific American, a study stated, “Although no single set of studies can provide a definitive answer – no matter how many experiments were conducted or participants were involved – research suggests that our intuitive responses, or first instincts, tend to lead to cooperation rather than selfishness.” Putting aside whatever we are taught by the media and those around us, scientists were able to discover that we come into this world as good beings. With our increasing abilities, I believe that we will eventually be able to live that way as well.
Strangers in today’s society constantly prove that humans are good. Whether it is helping an elderly woman cross the street, letting someone pass in an intersection, or jumping into a burning building to save a child, strangers have a tendency to take risks for the good of others. According to the Telegraph in the UK, a barista named Sonia Congrave working at a diner frequently visited by 87-year-old Doreen Mann noticed that her regular customer did not come for breakfast for a few days. She called the local police with the intention of checking up on Mann, and when police officers went to her house, they discovered that she had been stuck in a bathtub for four days with only tap water to remain hydrated. Congrave said that having a close relationship with Mann would not have made a difference in her actions.
“I think it would be nice for us all to take a bit of a time-out to remember our neighbors or remember the lady down the road who you haven’t seen in a few days and just give a knock or a phone call,” Congrave said. “Just say ‘Hey, are you alright?’” The kindness of strangers everywhere brings the meaning of being a decent person to a whole new level, and the bar that is set for exceptional kindness is consistently raised.
Today, our society is overflowing with technology that humans were daring enough to create, and as a result, we are far more connected to the world around us than ever before. Telephones help our voices travel from point A to point B faster than our ancestors could ever have fathomed. Live television allows people to witness events unfolding thousands of miles away from where they are watching. Not to mention, the rapid development of videogames has created an immersive dimension where players have the opportunity to experience realities that we never could have invented a century ago. Today’s medical advances, ranging from innovative surgeries to software available for patients’ use, have made diagnoses available quickly and accurately, such as getting blood work done or having an x-ray.
Technology has taken our potential out of this world – literally. Rovers on Mars alert us to the potential of currently existing and possibly supporting life on the Red Planet. Scientists receive constant glimpses of what exists outside of Earth, and every new discovery we encounter brings more excitement to the human race. Technology is able to influence everyone’s lives in several ways, and it will continue to advance the meaning and purpose of our existence.
As technology’s effect on society grows, so does our appreciation of diversity in other cultures. The widespread phenomenon of simply being more aware of other perspectives has made us far more accepting of physical, emotional, mental, cultural, or religious differences we encounter. When people are exposed to one sole viewpoint throughout their lives, they are not able to develop and enrich their outlook to relate to more than what they already know. The access to technology in our daily lives constantly connects us to other cultures and experiences. I know that if I happened to live in one sole region my entire life with no physical, digital, or verbal exposure to others’ experiences, I would have no idea of what lies beyond my original perception of what the world is like.
Many prevalent stories in the media today include how we are sabotaging humanity as a whole, but what is not shown is how passionate people constantly rally to save the Earth as we know it. In 2015 alone, we, as a global community, made countless developments toward a greener society. One development included the multi-billion dollar investment made by Bill Gates that was put toward research for how humans can improve the natural world. The U.S. was able to use this money to exchange 13 percent of our national energy usage to using renewable energy. Obviously, that number is not ideal, but it is a strong start for our future.
The human race is a complicated, destructive, messy, yet beautiful creation. Our world does not suck for far more reasons than I have listed, but today, during a time of immense struggle and conflict, we need to remember that mankind is not, and will never be a perfect species. We have so much more to do to improve the Earth, and at the moment, we have barely started on our journey. The important thing that we need to remember is that there are people out there, including me, who believe that we have what it takes to be a unified species. Mankind has done horrible things to the world, other humans, and animals in the past, but we are on our way – not as black, white, straight or gay, but as a species – to making the world better for our future. And if you still do not believe me when I say so, just remember that we have puppies, kittens, gerbils, birds, perforated pages, zippers, bubbles, fish, dolphins, computers, free samples, soft blankets, healthcare, opinions, candy, magic, imagination, and optimism.