There’s Also Good

La Voz de Galicia – March 25, 2022 →

Cristina PatoThe other day, I read an article about the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature born in Zanzibar and residing in the United Kingdom, Abdulrazak Gurnah, that included a series of statements made from the context of the presentation of the translation of his novel, By the Sea, into Spanish. The article cited a reflection about human nature related to the idea of attempting to hold on to the ability to contribute to the good in society because, according to Gurnah, «one must cling to that and be convinced that it is preferable for it to be so.»

And then I began to look for news that celebrated just that capacity of the human being, that capacity that prompts us to help a neighbor when they need it, to understand the harsh reality of a refugee, to feel empathy…And I must confess that it is difficult to find them without sensationalism, not because they don’t exist (because if we survive as a species it is precisely thanks to the fact that we help one another, we support one another), but there is something curious about the fact that, in some way, we are already accustomed to bad news, the news that amplify the worst part of us.

Sometimes, I wonder about the effect it would have to complete the circle, thinking that just as the media has the responsibility of showing us the injustices that blight us, it would also have the responsibility of informing us about acts of generosity, of social justice, and of kindness (returning to Gurnah), that happen daily around us. What effect would it have on us, listening to the good as well as to the bad? Would we be able to be carried away by kindness and empathy? I suppose we wouldn’t, but I, like Gurnah, want to think that this is also possible…

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