Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Blog

Good news for 2018 – #6

6. There are lots of good people in the world. In fact, most people are good people.

Don’t believe otherwise. No matter what anyone tells you.

I’ve known people who’ve left high-paying jobs — in business, or as corporate attorneys, or what have you — to scrape by working at small non-profits because they believed in the work of helping other people and the world.

I also know people like Mark, my friend of almost 25 years. Here’s what he posted on Christmas Eve:

A Christmas / Holiday story. Yesterday, I had to do my laundry, but couldn’t at the apartment complex. So, off to the laundromat I went. Decided to go to a different location than usual. But alas, every washer was being used. Not pleased, I headed back to my car to go elsewhere (my usual spot), and that’s when a woman approached me, asking for a meal. Her husband was sitting nearby. I asked, “Only one meal?” To her surprise she replied, “You’ll buy two meals for us?” I nodded, and tears formed in her eyes. We walked up to the counter and placed their order, then chatted for a bit. …

Then Mark went back to his car and got two “blessing bags” — these are bags that they prepare at his church for handing out to people in need; they include things like toothpaste and a toothbrush, socks, maybe a little snack food, water, deodorant and such — and handed them to the couple. Mark keeps blessing bags in his trunk for things just like this.

There’s also the story from three weeks ago of the guy who ran into the fire to save the panicked rabbit. A passing motorist captured it on video, and spoke with the man, but the man didn’t want any credit for it — his sole purpose was in saving the rabbit. Whether or not you think people should rush into fires to save rabbits (opinions vary), you have to credit the man’s selflessness. As CNN headlined it, “Man rescues rabbit from fires, instantly restores our faith in humanity.”

We have all seen incidents like this — of the man who pays for the woman’s groceries at the supermarket; of the person who sends money anonymously to help a family in need; of all those people who volunteer for Habitat for Humanity on weekends to build houses for the homeless; of those volunteers who go out and clean the beach, or the park; of the doctors and nurses who go to poverty-stricken areas once or twice a year to dispense free medical care; and on and on.

The human brain is wired to store bad experiences up front, for quick and easy retrieval; that’s an evolutionary feature, and overall a good one. But we shouldn’t let it blind us to the obvious truth:  that on a one-on-one basis, person-to-person, almost everyone is good, and does good. We’ve been so beset by widely reported bad news in 2017 that 2018 will become the year that we remind each other of all the good.

One Response to “Good news for 2018 – #6”

  1. Dan Says:

    The Two Commandments:

    1) Help somebody out if it’s not too much trouble.

    2) Don’t go out of your way to hurt anybody very much.

Leave a Reply