Monday, 23 July 2012

Lost and found in Stockholm

Compassionate people are rather sneaky, aren't they? There I'll be, minding my own business, losing faith in humanity, keeping one hand firmly on my handbag and the other over Little Bean's ears so she can't hear the language being thrown about by the teens in the park, when a good-deed-doer will come sneaking up out of nowhere, throwing my entirely solid cynicism completely off course.

I know that there are good people out there. People who will go out of their way to do something for someone they don’t know. Just because they’re human and they care. Although I sometimes forget about these people because it either doesn’t happen very often or it’s not newsworthy.

So this random act of kindness from a Swedish policeman really made me smile. When an officer noticed a ‘missing’ poster of a teddy bear, he took two minutes out of his day (he was off-duty the Stockholm police are eager to stress) and put a picture on the force’s Facebook page. After hundreds of ‘Likes’ and widespread media attention, happily the bear was eventually found and reunited with its no-doubt ecstatic owner.

No one’s life was in danger, there’s no political angle or dramatic change of fortune – it was just a simple gesture that meant the world to a little girl and made her happy. And I hope was a lesson her mum to get a back-up teddy in case he decides to go off adventuring again.

Of course there were those cynics who said the police should have been spending their time doing better things, and if the policeman had not been off-duty maybe they would have had a point. But don’t you think that humanising the authorities and building a stronger sense of community potentially has a more direct effect on lowering crime rates than a heavy-handed approach? I definitely think so.

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