Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Fabulous Example of Unexpected Kindness

I'm a bit of an information junkie.  First thing in the morning and last thing at night, I can be found trolling through my favourite news, opinion and pop culture websites and blogs, catching up on the latest news.  Lately, it seems this obsession has been just feeding my belief that the world truly is going to hell.  Lately, the world seems to be rife with the sad - teens murdered in Norway, the distressing - the UK phone hacking scandal, and the truly pathetic - the cost of a Kardashian wedding.

It's really easy to absorb all of this and to assume that there's no hope, everyone is corrupt (or corruptible), reality shows (and the 'stars' they spawn) are taking over and dumbing down the entire population and most people will do anything for a buck.

But, the upside of having an emotionally-charged personality is that it doesn't take much to bring me out of my reverie.  A little bit of human kindness lifts my spirits and I bounce right back.  Here's what did it today.

Image: Allan Guei making a free throw
A while back, Alan Guei, an 18-year-old high school student from Compton (Los Angeles inner city), won a $40,000 scholarship at a free-throw basketball competition.  A few weeks later, he was awarded a full scholarship to the university of his choice.
Knowing that his post-secondary costs were now taken care of, he donated his entire $40,000 prize to the other kids in the free  throw competition.  In his words,  “I’m well taken care of to go to school. I could have kept the money, but I figured why
not give the money to others that needed it more than I (do). These kids wanted to go to school and they were having a lot of financial (troubles) and I figured why not help them.”. You can read the whole story here

It's interesting that this story took place in Los Angeles, which also happens to be home to the biggest collection of spoiled, vapid, irresponsible young people in the world, a world where people become celebrities for nothing more than being born into wealth, videotaping their sexual escapades and behaving like cretins on reality TV.  Although he didn't seek fame or notoriety, this young man has achieved celebrity for his kindness and we can all learn a lot from him.

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