Appreciate the Angels All Around Us
It’s hard to open the newspaper or turn on the TV and not find a story about Americans hating each other. Sometimes, it can seem like the only constant is conflict.
But then, I see a story that reminds me that people are really, truly good. Just one example: a police officer in McKinney, Texas, noticed a man walking to work every day – for 2½ hours – because he didn’t have a car. The officer set up a fundraising page for the man and quickly raised enough to buy him a used car and insurance.
I love these stories. They warm my heart and prove to me that, even when we seem to be at each other’s throats, we can find it in ourselves to love each other.
Kindness, love and compassion are stronger than fear and conflict.
I, myself, have been the beneficiary of such extraordinary kindness. Several years ago, I was in a car accident on the expressway. I was briefly unconscious, and when I came to, I saw a woman running toward my car. She had witnessed the accident, pulled over in the left-hand lane, and – braving rush-hour traffic – run the length of a football field to help me. She let me borrow her phone (mine was nowhere to be found) and stayed long enough for the police to arrive.
And then she left. I don’t know her name or I would have found her and thanked her. She risked her personal safety to be there for me, a total stranger. She was just a normal person, but to me, she was an angel.
I’ve had lots of angels in my life – people who have come to my aid when I needed it most and expected it least. I don’t know if the angels in my life are the result of karma or God or just dumb luck, but I know they’re real. And they’re appreciated.
There may be some bad on this earth, but that’s not all we are. Little miracles are everywhere. We just have to look for them. Here are some of my recent favorites:
· A group of high school students in Pittsburgh who formed a club to help refugees learn English (and help American kids learn more about their new classmates and the world at large).
· A group of New Orleans neighbors helping one another after a recent tornado.
· The White Helmets, a volunteer group of civilians in Syria who rescue survivors of the daily bombings in that country’s civil war. (A documentary about the group won this year’s Oscar for Best Documentary Short.)
To be sure, there are real problems in this world. And we should all stay informed and be engaged citizens who vote and advocate for issues we believe in.
But the world is more than struggle and conflict. The world is also full of beauty and wonderful people who treat their neighbors (and even strangers) with kindness and generosity.
There are angels on earth, and they are us.