I've just been reading the remarkable story of a guy called Jeff Ragsdale who was going through a difficult time following a relationship breakdown. In March 2012, Jeff, a stand-up comedian and actor, found himself feeling very alone in a big city (New York, but it could have been anywhere) and resorted to putting up flyers with the words "If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me." He signed it from "Jeff, one lonely guy". Did he expect to get much of a response from people busy living their own lives? Well, the response he got was overwhelming, with over 65,000 people to date contacting him from all over the world as his number went viral. People called him to tell him that he wasn't alone, people called to find friendship for themselves; ultimately people reached out to him. Wow. Every now and then these kind of stories hit the news, stories where the human race shows what it's really all about.
Remember when the miners from Chile were trapped underground and the world held its breath as we waited to see if they were alive ? The world's press arived en masse to witness the rescue. People around the world cheered when they were brought to the surface and yet at the same time, terrible atrocities were being carried out by man, against man.
The recent and tragic collapse in April 2012 of a young woman Claire Squires during the final stage of the London Marathon 2012, saw massive contributions to her JustGiving page as people all over the planet who were complete strangers to her, tried to show compassion, comfort and respect for her memory. Yet in the same week, Sudanese warplanes dropped bombs indiscriminately near Bentiu, a town in Southern Sudan. A trapped kitten can make the news when several fireman work together to free it. War Horse captures audiences around the world via book, stage and film. Not many escape tears or a big gulp to stay them. We can't always reconcile the actions of man to our instinctive reactions to those actions. We have to react in some way to show we know about what's happening in the world. When a tragedy strikes, people the world over will make the effort to get in touch to let someone know that they're thinking of them, that they've been through a similar experience and reach out to help. In short, we instinctively need to show we care .
That's what Jeff Ragsdale discovered when he put up his posters.
Click here to read the full story.
Image copyright New York Post. Read the replies he had on their website.