Amazingly Heroic Man Saves Old Man From Burning Building – VIDEO
Here is a hero (I do not throw that word around, but there is it rightfully is) saving an old man from a Fresno home that caught fire on October 18th. It is, needless to say, equally bummer-ific and uplifting; sometimes houses burn down and the world feels heavy and useless, but also sometimes people will literally risk their lives to help someone else so maybe it's worth not becoming a disgruntled shut-in for one more day. Seeing videos of homes on fire never fails to shake me up because, I mean, of course it does. What kind of non-soul-having, baby barbecuing, tragedy-loving monster would I have to be to see a video of a house engulfed in flames (side note: we really need to broaden our use of the word "engulf". It's a great word and we pretty much only let it hang out with "flames" which is fairly limiting.) and think, "Oh, what cool fun this video is!"? That's not me. If souls are a thing, I likely have one, I've never cooked even one single child, and I don't love tragedy unless Shonda Rhimes tells me to.
So yes, seeing or hearing about homes on fire make me ache for people who have probably been made to believe that physical possessions mean a whole lot, only to watch them simply stop existing. I always imagine that not only are those victims then left without lots of things they genuinely do need, but they will likely be mired in a lot of time-consuming reflection on the value of things for a long time to come, which just adds tedium to tragedy.
I had a long history of never speaking to my neighbors. It's not so much that I'm anti-social, or that I don't care about being a "good" neighbor (although, if you ask me, a "good neighbor" is someone who doesn't ever talk to me, so it's certainly a subjective scale), I just value my privacy and my alone time. I'm very social, which is why I like to be alone when I go home – I probably just finished seeing lots of people. No more people. Bye, people, ni-night. But when you think about it, it's utterly strange to live in such close proximity to one another without acknowledging that closeness, and letting it creep into our brains, even just a little. Even as far as a "hello" in the hall. Enough anonymous, faceless figures, wordlessly sleeping in adjacent boxes for a million nights. One of those people might need to save your ass one day, so it can't hurt to humanize yourself to them a bit.
Image: Getty Images