Caroline's Cart and the Good in the World

Strolling out of #Target last weekend, I saw this shopping cart. It didn't register until I had stepped outside. I back-tracked through the "out" door to see if it was what I thought it was… a Caroline's Cart for special needs children. If you've ever had to push a wheelchair and a shopping cart through a store, then you know how hard the most mundane of tasks can be with a special needs child. I described one such outing in a blog post last year:

It's things like this that give me hope for humanity. These are the signs to look for that we often overlook. We get fixated on the violence and destruction that goes on in the world and miss the creation and compassion. Humans have an amazing capacity for good, not just evil.

So why is this a surprise?

Corporations make a lot of money from scaring the bejeebers out of you. Without fear, TV news would go out of business. What was the last movie you watched that portrayed a utopian future rather than a dystopian one? Star Trek is the only one I can think of. Our culture tends to focus on evil, as if evil were our default. According to these stories, we're all aching to become cannibals after the apocalypse. I guess it's how politicians sell themselves. They get elected by making you fear something real or imaginary. They want you to see humans as Cormic McCarthy does: wanton, depraved, and sociopathic.

If humans are basically evil, then how have we built great civilizations? How have we managed to cooperate to help each other in times of need? If humans are so awful, explain to me why a Caroline's Cart is available at my local Target? Explain how evil people helped a fragile child survive. Explain how evil people sacrificed day after day to keep that child alive. Explain how evil therapists and social workers and teachers helped that child learn to her fullest potential. Explain how someone designed this cart for those parents to be able to go shopping.

We have to keep one eye on evil, to be sure, but we seem so concentrated on it that we're surpassed when people are nice. Is that the way you really want to live?

#specialneeds #Carlinescart #shopping #evil #compassion #inspiration #good


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