These images of people stopping to make a peaceful gesture or to help someone in need remind us that, even in the midst of violence and political conflict, our capacity for compassion and understanding can still shine through.
Whatever your perspective on a given political issue may be, it’s always unfortunate when a group of people have to react to protests and riots to get their voices heard. The world’s eye is currently focused on the riots in Ukraine, where rioters and riot police battle it out over whether the struggling nation’s future will see it grow closer to the European Union or to Russia (Editor’s note: We are aware that this is an over-simplification of the political situation in Ukraine, but the nuances of the riots there are beyond the scope of this article. No protest is ever that simple). But let’s not forget the Arab Spring riots throughout the Middle East, the riots in Turkey, and others throughout the world. The last decade has been one of growing political unrest.
In all of these situations, large groups of people found that protest, peaceful or otherwise, was the only way to get their voices heard. But despite the violence, people still chose to help each other. In some cases, they even found a way to reach across the riot shield wall and simply help their fellow human being, be they a riot police officer or a protester. It’s comforting to see that even the worst situations can sometimes bring out the best in us.