I think I might have spoken too soon.
The guy got out of his work truck and started walking toward the convenience store. He had paint and grime up and down his pants and he took long, slow steps that seemed to take everything he had.
He looked tired and all business, but when he got to the front door, he stopped and held it open for a young mother carrying a young child and then for me. I waved for him to go, but he said, “no, go ahead, my mother taught me to be a gentleman.”
I went about my business, but was stopped again when I saw him waiting in line. He seemed preoccupied by the little baby, not in a weird way, but like a grandfather reminiscing about times gone by. I was thinking of my own kids, when I saw him pick up the tab for the young mother, buying the cup of coffee and bottle of milk that she held tightly in her hands. The coffee and milk were only a few bucks, but the mother gave him a smile that looked like she had just won the lottery. “I needed that after my day,” she told him, shaking his arm in gratitude.
I was wrong.
The fire took the house in minutes. The home sat in a wooded lot that made it difficult to extinguish on a calm day, forget about a brisk, windy one. The family lost everything they owned. They were left with nothing except for the clothes on their backs.
Within a day, though, the community, with the help of a local radio station, had started a fund drive to help them start the process of getting back on their feet. How do you ever recover from something like that? People though still came together to help support the family and get them back on the road to recovery.
Yes, I think I was definitely wrong.
I was mulling the craziness of U.S. politics, Trump insulting whoever has the gall to disagree with him, the Democrats feeding on their young, and I was feeling blue on the state of the world. Fortunately for me, however, I skipped the politics and instead read about NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch conducting the first all-female spacewalk last week outside of the International Space Station. The two astronauts used the seven hour and 17-minute spacewalk to replace a faulty battery charge & discharge unit that failed to activate after a spacewalk on October 11, according to the agency.
It doesn’t matter if you count yourself in the Red Party, Blue Party or Rainbow for that matter, man or woman in space is still a mind-boggling achievement.
The world may not be ending so soon.
I joked several weeks ago that the NCAA playing Division I college football on Friday nights, the number of mind-numbing commercials on network television and the onslaught of pumpkin-tasting coffee and beers were all telltale signs that the world is coming to an end.
In retrospect, I might have been wrong. Yes, I most definitely might have been wrong.
The world is not going “to Hell in a handbasket” as one of my old editors used to shout whenever he saw something that he thought doomed humankind. No, I was reminded this week that if you look hard enough, you can always find something good to cheer about in the world:
–Kids lining up at a Fall festival to get their face’s painted. Who doesn’t want to dress up and magically become a butterfly or a fairy or a superhero?
–A grandmother writing young men and women that she’s never met in the Armed Forces deployed to far away countries reminding them that they are not forgotten, but loved and cared for and in their loved one’s thoughts and prayers.
–A women volunteering to serve meals on wheels for the elderly stuck at home.
–A nurse practitioner who works all day and then volunteers at a local clinic to help young mothers-to-be prepare for their newborns.
People helping people. Doing good instead of looking the other way. Yes, you need to look for it, but there’s still good in the world. It’s not all bad!