Monday, May 17, 2010

Reaching Out

It always seems like we first and foremost hear and see (especially via TV) the “bad guys” in our world, the ones who—in their minds— want unaccountable revenge, to destroy supposed enemies by explosive force, or have been brainwashed to believe these actions will bring acceptance or power, or minds that are horribly twisted by drink and/or drugs.

What about the “good guys?” There are many, and mostly unknown. Some wear white hats, but most visually do not. The common and uncommon people whose good and decent ways quietly make a difference to one person, a small group, a whole community, or to encompass the whole world. Several major TV stations have begun to air stories about a few of these hometown heroes. Some stories bring tears to my eyes, and I’m thankful for their unselfish deeds.

For all the benevolent actions that take place, most are not on TV. They occur every minute of every day everywhere. When a power outage occurred last winter because of ice, wind and snow and a South Dakota Indian Reservation was without electricity, water and heat for up to three weeks; several friends, women who are movers and shakers, raised nearly $2200 from their friends, relatives and their own pocketbooks, and bought copper and PEX pipe, hundreds of fittings, and plumbing tools. They personally loaded up the supplies, and twice drove 600 miles round trip in the middle of winter to those people whose water pipes had frozen and who had no money for supplies and labor to repair broken pipes. Heroes, they are.

Most good acts do not require a lot of courage, time, or money. Strangers smile at me, and I at them. Maybe I just look funny, but whatever the reason, bringing a smile to faces is a feel-good moment. Once at a long awaited class reunion, I said “Hi” to one of my former classmates, calling her by name. She confessed later that she was so relieved that somebody still recognized and acknowledged her. This statement from one of most popular girls in my class! You never know where the simplest act will make a difference. I still dream about making a contribution for world good, but a smile is a step in the right direction. Where do your feet lead you?

LA Andersen

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