An Open Letter To The Good People In The World: I Know You're Out There

by Aakaanksh Pothukutchi

Writing 40 pages on the topic of “Why Men Rape” turned me cynical; I lost my faith in the good of mankind. Confronting the awful things we do to one another took me through a full range of emotions. First, I was really sad, but then I grew angry. The more I read, the more depressed I became, and ultimately, as a means to insulate myself, I grew apathetic.

While many horrible injustices that plague the world — like rape — may not be within a single person’s power to completely circumvent, it is in every person’s power to do his or her part. Any day spent not being the best person you can be only contributes to the dangerous negativity that swirls through this world constantly.

Once, I found myself looking through a window at the gym at a snowstorm that had recently struck the Northeast. The roads hadn’t been plowed properly and a taxi was stuck (the driver had been trying to climb the same hill for a handful of minutes). A friend suggested I go do the right thing, so I changed my clothes, walked out into the snow and asked the guy if he wanted my help. The relief that quickly painted his face was unreal — countless cars had just been driving by, without any iota of care for the man’s situation.

So I helped him dig a little, and then I started pushing, pushing to no avail. Then, two people came out of their apartment building and without any questions started helping to push the taxi as well. More people joined the effort, and suddenly the three of us grew to a double-digit sized crew. We went around the area pushing cars to help them get over that snow-laden hill.

At one point, I had to call the police because a car lost control and accidentally pinned a pedestrian between a snow bank and the railway tracks. It was like something out of a movie. There were trains coming from both sides, and while some of us were trying to dig the man out, others ran to try and stop the train. Honestly, calling 911 wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be. The lady sounded more scared and panicked than I was; her job must be a truly stressful one, especially on a night like this.

Anyway, my point is this: am I a hero? Realistically, no. But it’s not about being a hero; it’s about doing the right thing. There are good people out there in the world — a lot of them. Sure, there were still the people who just drove past the scene, and other people honking or just watching, but what they do doesn’t have to define what you do.

So to all the good people out there: don’t stop yourself from doing the right thing, you never know what further good might result from your one small good deed. Yes, the world is pretty f*cked up sometimes, but by being your own role model, you project an image of what others should aspire to be.

Photo via BCD Tumblr