Years ago when I saw “Spider Man 3” for the first time, the tag team of Peter Parker and his best friend-turned-foe-turned-friend again, Harry, in the climax, against the evil Eddie and the Sand Man, excited me the most. The other day when I saw the movie again, the climax with the tag team action was definitely the one I had been waiting for, but something came along with it that I had not noticed before.
‘Goodness’ knocked loudly on my mind’s door that had been shut for too long. Even if it sounded like fairytales or any other bedtime story, I reinforced my belief in ‘happy endings’ because I reinforced my belief in goodness, good hearts and good actions.
Even though Gods, fairies and angels seem to be powerful, beautiful, and ever charming, only humans have the capability of taking actions for the sake of each other. Only humans have the capability of making each other’s life better than it ever could be. Otherwise, how do you think the world is still working?
We could easily assume that everyone is doing their job or we could believe, with all our heart, that there is a bigger plan, that some person out there is making sure that we are happy and safe.
That, when terrorists are bombing the cities, there are people who are working on safer modes of transport and better security.
That, when the Taj Hotel in Mumbai was attacked, the hotel staff, who knew the access codes and the way out through the back doors, did not just run off, but first let their guests out safely.
That, a college boyfriend would shave off his head to make his girlfriend feel less ‘ugly’ while she underwent treatment for breast cancer.
That, while the fire crew tried to lift off a commuter bus under which a woman was empaled, a police officer crawled under and held onto that woman’s hands and lay there alongside her on that icy street till the bus was lifted off her.
That, when a woman called her fiancé up and told him, “I have cancer,” she did not expect him to reply, “Let’s get the sentence construction right here. WE have cancer.”
That, when the world is burning with hatred, a boy and a girl would still choose to fall in love and dream of getting married.
That, a young, fearless woman would speak up when she sees another woman being abused by her boyfriend.
That even, if society is mired in age-old customs, sometimes the judiciary passes a judgment that cheers the LGBTs. Or, protects women in live-in relationships from domestic violence even when society doesn’t approve of the concept of live-ins.
That, when parents do not support your dreams and choices, your uncles and aunts stand up for you.
That, a sixty-year-old man would turn into not something less than a superman to save a little girl from being lured by a pervert in the playground.
That, a fifty-year-old, once an angry, wild man, would beautifully mellow down for his daughters.
That, when you are at work and your kid falls down at home and hurts himself/herself, your neighbors will rush him/her to the hospital.
That, a twenty-something girl would not only give up everything she had ever known to move into a new city with the guy she had fallen in love with, but would end up sticking with him through thick and thin for twenty-five years now.
That, when you lose your parents, your cousins are the people you could always count on.
That, when the world turns into a dangerous neighborhood, faceless strangers come rushing to your rescue.
I find it hard to digest when people say that humans are selfish by nature. I hear a lot of that in my political science classes. Of course, we have that selfishness ingredient in us but it is not as essential as our blood that has to be there running inside of us for us to survive. I think it would be far better to imagine it as a switch that our brain and our heart could turn on and off whenever needed. And it would be better if we could let it stay turned off for long to save the goodness in the world just like we try to save energy.
I still believe that there will be someone who would help that old man cross that street, someone who would turn into Santa, to gift the kids on the sidewalk; that a bad boy might end up being a very good husband; that an ex-boyfriend might one day turn into the friend you would confide in; that people matter more than religion and caste, and perhaps even more than God; that, there is an inbuilt mechanism for goodness in all of us. It’s only a choice away.
However, I will not do away with the fact that there are bad people in the world and most of them do not deserve to be forgiven. That is where I believe that when the bad boys are burning the city down, superheroes will come out of nowhere to save the day.
Some people say that we do good things for others only to feel good about ourselves; to feel happy. So in that way, we do good things to satisfy our selfishness, they say. Since when did ‘feeling good’ become synonymous with selfishness, I ask. What is wrong in being happy because we made others happy? What is wrong in believing ‘I’ve got goodness?’
I believe that each of us, just like the powerpuff girls, is made up of sugar, spice and everything nice, and yes, an accidental spill of Chemical X, whatever that turns out to be.
They say hope keeps the world going. But what is hope, afterall? Isn’t it what we wish in our secretest of heart? The one wish that someday something good will happen.
Humans are good people. It is not important to be born human; however, what is important, is to be human, now that we’ve been born.
This Christmas, ‘pay it forward’ everyone!