With the current state of the country, a lot of people are losing faith in humanity. Politics, the holidays, the virus, and a variety of other things are weighing on our minds right now. However, there is a little bit of light in the dark thanks to this caring human on the New York City subway. Holding what would appear to be a tiny kitten in his lap as he rides the train. Even though this might not solve all your problems, it should restore a little bit of faith in humanity.
The Man & The Tiny Kitten
Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Especially in these dire times when we are all vulnerable. Gillian Rogers, who was also riding the subway train, captured this tender moment between this stranger and his tiny kitten. Wrapped in a towel as he gently bottle feeds the kitten in his lap. Completely oblivious to the world around them as they bond on the train together.
“He was bottle-feeding her,” Rogers explained. “You could see the caring. My heart felt like it was going to explode to see someone with that much caring. He was so in the moment.” (1)
Being able to watch someone who is so deliberately caring towards something so helpless can make you feel elated. The reason for this is because our empathy is overwhelmed by the longing to be that person. Whenever we experience someone else’s good mood, it can sometimes be a very contagious thing. For Rogers, this is exactly what was happening. She couldn’t help herself but take some photographs of the stranger holding the kitten. Eventually introducing herself to him and asking him how he found that kitten to begin with.
“We had a chat, he told me he’d found the kitten alone between two buildings. The kitten was looking up at him as he fed her,” Rogers explains. “It was so heartwarming. I told him, ‘Thank you.’” (1)
Tiny Kitten Goes Viral
People often underestimate the power of empathy. Especially when it comes to something so helpless and defenseless. Our natural instincts kick in and all we want to do is provide all the love and care we can offer. For Rogers, this is exactly how she was feeling on the subway.
“It was truly a special moment. When I got off the train, I felt like I was walking on air,” Rogers says with a large smile. “I felt joyful — like, it renewed my faith in humanity. There are still decent people out there.” (1)
As the founder of Pet Rescue Squad Inc., Rogers says that this was a very powerful moment for her. Rogers is known for dedicating her life to helping animals in need. However, she had no idea just how powerful these photos would be on the internet. As they’ve gone viral, Rogers faith, along with so many others, have been restored with these heart-warming images.
“I had no idea the photo was going to resonate as it has. It makes me happy,” Roger claims. “I think we all need something to cheer us up.” (1)
The Power Of Our Empathy
Believe it or not there has actually been a study done on this exact thing. Our empathy plays a vital role in our ability to understand emotions. Just as we see people like this stranger helping a tiny kitten, our hearts resonate with the emotion. Just as Rogers was feeling while watching him bottle feed the helpless animal. You may actually be doing small acts of kindness like this without even realizing it.
The study that was produced by Jack Levin, a criminologist, proved that people tend to love animals more than other people. When people were given a fake story about a hypothetical puppy, infant, adult dog, and adult human were beaten brutally. People showed an overwhelming amount of empathy for the puppy, infant, and adult dog more so than the adult human. The reason is because we cannot stand to see something so innocent experience something so traumatic. Everything our instincts tell us is to fight for that small creature and protect it at any cost. (2)
The feelings are a bit different for something or someone who is just as grown as you are. They have the ability to fight for themselves and defend their actions. However, puppies, kittens, and babies cannot. They don’t have the ability to fend for themselves, they solely rely on others to help them. It’s also a pack mentality that we have that we all have a responsibility to protect the most helpless. Collectively acting as one to make sure the rest of us are able to thrive. The unconditional love that we are awarded with in the end makes it all worth while. (2)