The world can be grim. Each day brings with it a new foe or disaster; one that chips away at values needed to keep society afloat. Each day, we are surrounded by bad news flowing out from our screens into real life.
While you can look at the world in black and white, you can also put on some rose-tinted glasses and smile. There are stories to make your insides buzz and your tear ducts weep; the stories that prove there is unfiltered goodness in the world. My friend provided me with one of these stories over the weekend and I have been smiling ever since.
Like many sparkling tales, it has a dark background, but kindness seeps through the cracks of panic. We need that light; that little glimmer of hope to show that, in the midst of mistrust and adversity, there are still good people out there. There are still strangers who will go out of their way to help you.
Here is her story.
"I was coming home one day from work and on this particular day, I had gone out to dinner after I had finished. I was coming home a bit later than usual on the Luas, at around 8 o' clock. This was the end of July, so it was still really bright. The sun was out and there was no sign of it setting. It was one of those warm and bright sunny days we'd had.
"I got off the Luas, bypassed a few people and crossed the bridge I always cross. I had my headphones in, and I actually felt two people walking very close behind me. I decided to walk faster, and then they started walking faster – but I was like, 'surely they aren't going to try something in broad daylight?'.
"Then all of a sudden, I felt a massive tug on the shoulder strap of my bag; I thought it was one of my friends messing with me. I thought that maybe my housemate had been on the Luas too, and came up to me joking, but it wasn't.
"It was an older woman and an older man, and the woman started shouting at me, "you stole my sister's stuff, I'm taking back what you robbed". I told them, 'I'm not the person you are thinking of', and I was shouting at them to stop. But then I just froze.
"The man just stood there as the woman was pulling the bag away from me, but I was being stubborn with it and just wouldn't let it go. I was also so scared and couldn't cry out for help.
"She kept screaming at me and then I realised this could get a lot worse. I decided to let my bag go, but right before I did, she pulled so hard that she ripped my bag in half. She took my purse with all my cash, my licence and my cards and threw the remnants of the bag at me.
"At this point, there were two lines of traffic stopped at the nearest junction and a man had already stopped and got out of his car looking at where I was currently standing. A taxi man had his head out of the car asking was I okay, but all I could do was stand there shaking; looking at my bag on the ground. Eventually, I said, "no, they robbed my stuff".
"Instantly, three guys from three separate cars got out and ran after the people who had stolen my things, and another man got out of his car and invited to wait near his car, because he had his two-year-old son in it but he wanted to help me too.
"Then the guards arrived; more and more people got out of their cars to see if I was okay, if there was anything they could do. Next, the three men who had run after the culprits to get my purse came back to me with the purse in tow. Before long, eight people stood around me, and they all gave statements to the police.
"It just made me think that, although this horrible thing had happened, these strangers (who didn't need to stop and help) did stop, and they were genuinely worried for me.
"And to the three men who ran after the people with my purse, I can't thank them enough. You hear of so many stories of people being mugged and nobody stops to help, or they end up being on their own after it happened. It was such a lovely outcome to a horrible situation and it gave me so much comfort and hope that there is good everywhere in the world."