10 Selfless Acts Amid Terrible Tragedies That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
The Choctaw Nation
The Irish famine was one of the most devastating disasters of the 19th century. Within seven years, a million people starved to death and another million emigrated. Millions more would flee the country in the decades that followed. To give you an idea of how devastating it was, the population of Ireland still hasn’t recovered from the famine.
Amid this tragedy, countless organizations in the United States collected donations and sent them to Ireland to help alleviate the crisis. But perhaps none were as impressive as the $170 that was raised by members of the Choctaw tribe of Native Americans, and sent to a famine relief organization. That may not sound like much, but adjusted for inflation it amounts to thousands of dollars.
Still, why was their donation so impressive? At the time, the Choctaw tribe were living in a reservation in Oklahoma. 16 years earlier in 1830, they had been forced from their homes and sent on the trail of tears. Half of the 21,000 Choctaws who embarked on the journey died. It’s safe to say that by 1847 they probably weren’t in much better shape financially speaking, and yet they still felt compelled to raise what little funds they had for the relief effort. That’s because they felt an affinity for the Irish, who like the Choctaw, had also enduring starvation, as well as cultural suppression by their government. The Choctaw relief effort has since been commemorated on multiple occasions in Ireland.
The Institute of Plant Industry
Don’t let the innocuous title fool you. If nothing you read before was able to restore your faith in humanity, this story will.
The Institute of Plant Industry was a Soviet research center, and was once the largest seed bank on Earth. It was home to nearly 400,000 seeds and other plant samples that had been painstakingly collected from around the world. The mission of the institute, was to develop new plant strains that would alleviate hunger worldwide.
Unfortunately, the institute was located in the city of Leningrad during World War Two. In case you’re not familiar with what occurred there, what happened to Leningrad during the war was downright apocalyptic. For nearly two and half years the city was blockaded by a German siege, which led to the deaths of 1.5 million civilians and soldiers. The siege of Leningrad has been called the most destructive event to ever occur in a modern city, and the most deadly siege in human history. The city became a hell on earth, where starvation and predatory cannibalism were rampant.