Why the Kindness?

In many respects, the risks being taken by our pandemic “front liners” look illogical. At first glance, it seems an unnatural act, a violation of human nature.

Dr. Mary Grace Lim, 40, a promising doctor from Asian Hospital and Medical Center, for instance, has died recently after contracting the virus while caring for Covid-19 patients.

She’s one among too many health workers, peace and order and relief workers and front liners around the world who risked or lost their lives while in the battle line of duty.

Why the kindness? Why the risking and giving away of one’s life or even possessions to others? 

In his essay, “Altruism,” Lewis Thomas posits that this special human impulse “has always been one of biology’s deep mysteries.”

As a human impulse, kindness or altruism is not easily explainable in rational terms. 

If a loved one or friend is suffering or in need, we normally go out of our way to help. 

But if outside this immediate circle, we usually think twice or more to allow ourselves to be inconvenienced, more so put ourselves in danger.

As I reflect on this, it’s possibly not just the mere act or question of kindness, altruism, or compassion alone. 

But, I tend to believe ... of simply connecting. That deep sense of attachment to others. Being one with the whole of humanity. 

That oneness fuels one’s feeling of responsibility for the welfare of others, including those outside his or her immediate familial or community circle.