Something as small as an oncoming car dimming their brights as they approached my car on the road last night made me think that there are still so many good people still around.
With all the political madness, with all the over-the-top Tweets and Facebook responses, there are a lot of cruel, senseless people out there. We see them on the news, read their posts, see them on video channels. One sentence can shake the ground under your feet. One jeer can stab your heart. One boast can scramble you senses. Make you wonder what is wrong with people.
Then you see someone with really bright lights coming towards you on a dark highway dim them so you can see the road. You see someone knock something off the grocery shelf and the person behind them pick it up. You see the receptionist at the doctor’s office offering to help patients fill out paperwork. People you know and don’t know still go to work in hospitals and clinics, knowing they are putting their health — and life — on the line every single day.
You see people visiting loved ones through glass windows at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Food drive-throughs give away dog cookies for your canine partner in the back seat along with your burger and fries. You see teachers learn a whole new form of education in mere months, just so they can reach out to their students.
People still hold doors for other people. People still pull over to help the accident in front of them. People still call 911 for others.
There is still a lot of goodness in the world.
What has changed is our perception of what is good.
Many of us tend to see goodness as a great, big balloon that shimmers and shines above us. Feeding the poor. Sending stimulus checks to those in need. Rescuing children from slave traffickers.
These are indeed great acts of goodness. They are above and beyond the call and reach of most people. These people are truly a positive influence in this dark world.
But there are also a hundred different good things that happen that one never really think about. Someone stops at a stop sign. Someone rounds up on their purchase so the extra can go to a charity. People throw a dollar into the Salvation Army bucket every time they pass one. People donate old coats and eyeglasses to charity drives and furniture to Goodwill.
These are good people, too. We are all good people.
Liking a post. Wearing a mask. Turning the TV down. Carrying out food from a local restaurant rather than a chain eatery. Asking how someone’s mother or sister is doing with their illness. Signaling when turning left or right in your car. Saying a prayer for someone.
Don’t underestimate the good in the world. It is these small gestures that make our lives easier. Sweeter. Safer.
I thank you all for all your small gestures.