The other day a friend said, “With all the horrible things happening in the world – all the horrible, hateful, violent things – where’s the love? Where’s the goodness gone?” I understand what he meant. We are bombarded constantly with news of another atrocity, another killing, another bombing, another starving country, another flood/fire/earthquake… It’s easy to think that the world’s going to heck in a hand-basket and we might as well all slash our wrists now and be done with it.

It’s hard to believe in a rosy future for a world in which a group of teenage boys are slaughtered by a mob of murderous thugs (IS) because they were watching a soccer match on television. (I think they were probably watching Iraq’s team taking part in the Asian World Cup.) I guess soccer is an insult to Islam in some way or other. Although…the Taliban in Afghanistan allow soccer matches. They usually use the half time interval to conduct a stoning or two. It’s hard to keep up with the rules with these guys.

Anyhoo…I get as overwhelmed as the next person…maybe more so than some. So I think it’s time to reassure my friend, and myself, that love and goodness are still at work in the world.

A few days ago, I saw a picture of a dude who had dived into an icy river to save a duck. The little thing had got stuck in the ice. He got it free, warmed it up in a towel and then released it back into the wild. That’s a bit of love and goodness right there.

Every day there are good-hearted people rescuing abused animals, feeding the homeless, helping their elderly neighbours, taking a stand against injustice, standing up to bullies and making an extra effort to be kind, even when people don’t deserve it. There was a guy in the USA, this past Christmas, who got his local police force to hand out $100 bills to people who looked as though they could use a blessing. Just one man, with a bit of extra cash, spreading a little surprising joy because he’s kind. That’s love and goodness right there.

For all the murdering, scumbag extremists, who think they’re doing God a favour by torturing and killing people, there are others working in dreadful conditions at risk to their own lives, helping Ebola patients and AIDS victims. They don’t do it for money or political power, but because they have kind hearts and they dream of a better world. That’s goodness right there.

Where’s the love? It’s in my heart and, hopefully, your heart. It’s spread one word, one gesture, one act of forgiveness, at a time. There are more of us (the kind, loving, thoughtful people) than there are of them (the cruel, vicious, haters). Don’t give up believing. Don’t give up hope. Don’t stop being kind. The next time you see an awful situation on the evening news, look for the person who is helping; there’s always at least one. Cheer them on, say, “Fight the good fight, buddy!”, and be encouraged.