OPINION: Separate occasions show goodness still exists

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REBECCA CLARK BROTHERS, Community columnist

In today’s society, we sometimes forget that there are still good people in the world. On three recent separate occasions, I have been fortunate enough to experience the goodness that still exists.

Leaving work one afternoon, the PSI on my car read 1 for my left back wheel. I pulled into someone’s driveway and Googled wreckers in the area. Before I could find one, two gentlemen arrived to offer assistance. I had parked in one of their 97-year-old mother’s driveway. I kept insisting that I could call a wrecker, but neither one agree to it. One had a portable air compressor, so he began pumping air into the deflated tire. The other went to his mother’s barn and returned with a patch for the tire.

While they fixed the tire, through our talking, we realized that we knew similar people. An hour later, after many thanks, they had me on my way to my destination.

The following Saturday, I was in town buying four new tires. Even with an appointment, the wait was over an hour. Trying to not waste the whole Saturday morning, I walked to a close hair salon for a haircut. By the time I left the hair salon, a light rain had begun. Of course, I didn’t have an umbrella. While I was standing at an intersection, a woman rolled her SUV passenger side window down and asked, “Ma’am, can I take you somewhere?” I replied that I was only walking to the next store and that I appreciated it.

My sons said since people are often standing at that intersection with a sign proclaiming they didn’t have money or food, the nice lady may have thought I was homeless.

Later that day, I bought a 52-pound bag of dog food and a 36-pound bag of cat food. A teenage girl and her mom sat at a table at the entrance to the store. After buying tires, I didn’t have the extra money to buy whatever they were selling, so I didn’t make eye contact. I had almost given up the struggle of loading the dog food bag into the back of my car when I heard a voice ask, “Ma’am, do you need help getting that bag into your car?” I turned around and saw the teen girl standing behind me. I sighed and said, “Yes, thank you.” The girl hefted the bag of food into my car as if it was nothing. I thanked her again and drove home. I felt guilty for not buying what she had been selling.

We never hear or see the news proclaiming about four strangers helping another stranger within a matter of days. Instead, most of the news is more than likely how a child or someone is shot by a stray bullet while sitting at a kitchen table.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and even though everything we have ever heard about the first Thanksgiving is a fabrication, families across America will gather and stuff themselves just like the turkey sitting in the center of the table.

This Thanksgiving, while gorging ourselves and complaining about the state of affairs the country, perhaps we can each say how we are going to help a stranger in need.

The four people who helped me probably didn’t wake up that day thinking, “Today, I am going to help someone.” Yet they did.

If every one of us wakes up with that thought, then we may have the incentive to help someone every day and have something else to talk about at the Christmas dinner table other than complaining about the state of affairs of our country.