I’ll be honest – it’s been a rough couple of weeks. It seems you can’t turn on the news or visit social media without getting bombarded with stories that make you despair for mankind.
Except it’s just not so.
I’m not saying that there aren’t bad, even horrific things happening – there are. And I don’t mean to minimize or downplay their importance whatsoever.
It’s just that all the bad news drowns out the good.
Here’s the good news: The majority of people are basically good. Still. The majority of people care for one another. The majority of people are decent human beings, not intent on disparaging or even killing one another.
The majority of people don’t make the news.
In fact it wouldn’t be “news” if they did.
I saw a comment on Facebook recently where someone was wishing for a some kind of “only good news” newspaper, or Facebook newsfeed, or something along those lines. The problem is that almost by definition good people doing good things is so commonplace we don’t even think of it as news. Instead, the events we see publicised in the media as “news” are the out-of-the-ordinary, extreme, reaction-provoking, exceptional events of the day.
Again, it’s not that we shouldn’t be aware of, and even take action because of, the bad news of the day. The problem is that when we feed ourselves a steady diet of only this type of negativity, it feeds on itself. We begin to believe that the world is bad, people are bad, and that there is no hope.
Is it any wonder that people become more polarized and more negative in face of this negative bombardment?
Look for balance. Look for the good. It’s out there. It’s here in HeroicStories, and it’s in daily life all around you if you just look for it. As Paul Harvey used to say, “wash your ears out with this…”
Dog Gone Good Samaritans
Two elderly women rescue a pack of dogs and give a lifelong lesson.
Terry says: What a wonderful story! I remember being introduced to the “pay it forward” philosophy when I was in college in the 1960’s. It is wonderful to see that it is still going strong!
A Kid Near You Needs a Hand
There is a kid near you that needs a hand: find them and do what you can do.
Bunny says: That’s a great story. And it was nice to see Joyce’s name as the author. She was the first editor of Heroic Stories and we became acquainted by email. She took in foster kids and was a strong advocate for the most vulnerable among us. She lived up to her Aunt’s example.
Leo replies: Actually Joyce wasn’t the first, but she had the reigns of HeroicStories for many years…
Ian Chai adds: Yes, Randy “This is True” Cassingham was the first, but as Leo said, Joyce was on board for many years. It was sad when she passed away.
Kel S says: What a wonderful story! I can speak firsthand of the power of having an adult in your life who is willing to be a great example to someone who is not their child. I would be a much worse human being without the person in my life who stopped and cared and taught me so much.
The Wise Janitor
Kindness from the school janitor enriches a young man’s life.
Cathy Gill says: There are [so] many troubled youth today. It was so wonderful that she found Bob to help thru some extremely difficult times and that help came from Bob and his wife. My wish is that all of the kids that are living troubled lives find that one person that can help them thru the most difficult of times. Bob and his wife were angels in disguise and truly a blessing to all they came in contact with. There are many more angels out there and we know they will answer the call. Be assured that Bob and his wife know they were tremendous help to you and you have never been forgotten.
A Letter from a Friend
A friend from far away has the right words.
John P. – Miami, OK says: I just recently reconnected with a friend from my childhood – we lived next door to each other and shared many good times. We found each other again through Facebook and are looking forward to getting back together in person later this summer or next year. We now live in Oklahoma and he still lives in Oregon. One thing is for certain, Really Good Friends are there whether you live next door or half way across the country.
Christina adds: One of the best Heroic Stories, I have read this site for years, it will go everywhere I go, thank you all for sharing.
Bronwyn says: When my dad died in 2009 (two months after my twentieth birthday, three months before my brother’s nineteenth birthday, and less than two weeks after my parents’ twenty-first anniversary), we didn’t expect many people to show up to his viewing; he wasn’t the most social of men. But we were all surprised. Quite apart from the large number of people he’d worked with, for, or over who turned up to pay their respects, we were joined by several of my mother’s former Girl Scouts, my high school French teacher, and my best friend from middle school with her mother–none of whom we had seen much in the previous few years. And when it came time for the actual burial, two people showed up that I honestly hadn’t been expecting. One of them, Jon, was my dad’s best friend from high school; I’d heard a LOT of stories about him, but I hadn’t actually seen him since I was a toddler (so little that I didn’t even remember him, really). The other, Eric, was someone my dad had served with almost twenty years previously–and not had the remotest contact with since. He had seen my dad’s obituary online and tracked my mom down to find out when and where he could come to pay his last respects.
Ever since then, I’ve made an effort to track down as many of my old and dear friends as I can, to reconnect those golden friendships. I don’t want to wait for the next tragedy to strike to have them reach out to me–or me reach out to them.
One Social Worker
One social worker makes all the difference for a long distance family.
Judy says: How awesome! What a wonderfully thoughtful person Lori has been. America needs more folks like this – NO – the WORLD needs more folks like this! Thank you Lori for being such a loving, caring person who looks for ways to help those around her!
Cheryl adds: Lori has a vocation – not just a job. What a wonderful example of what a Social Worker should be. Thank you!
Kaye comments: This Social Worker is obviously in the right job! She loves helping people and doesn’t just pass information and recommendations along to the next person down the ladder to handle. She does it herself and makes sure the far-off family knows how their loved one is doing.
A Journey Home
A house full of love and people turns a crises into a time of peace.
Terry says: All this love made my cry. How fortunate to have such precious friends.
Robert Shields says: Tim was responsible for changing many people’s lives for the better and I sincerely believe, that is why children are sent here for such short periods of time. He lived for five years and there has to be a reason why. Perhaps one of the people who looked after him was/is destined for greatness as a result of his/her experience and will help change the world for the better. Anyway, I would like to think so. If you feel you would like to help such children, please Google ‘The Kythe Foundation’ in the Philippines (A hospice for terminally ill children, most with cancer) and do what you can for them; they need your help just as Tim did, even if it is just a small donation.
Our friend helps two young travelers through a storm.
Shirley says: What a beautiful soul. The world would be a much better place if more folks followed the “golden rule.”
The $10 Bill
Turns out that Dad had planted a gift in the cupboard.
Gordon says: In the 1950’s, $10.00 was significant. It would buy a lot of groceries.
A lot of elderly people today are in the same situation as his uncle and aunt, they have little income and barely make it every month. Ten dollars isn’t worth much today but it can make a difference to some people.
When you see people in public you can tell that some have little extra. Figure out how to help even if you don’t know them. If they are in a restaurant, pay for their meal, pay their grocery bill at the store. They may object but they will be thankful.
Pam LeBlanc adds: Upon reading Mary Burton’s “The $10 Bill,” a long forgotten and life affirming memory came to me. During college three of us chose to be roommates the entire four years. There were three times when I was very worried about money. Someone in that room put $50 in my dresser drawer each time. I know who it was but words were never spoken.
A Dad Too
An unexpected gift saves the day for a young family.
Annette Naish says: I understand the desperation. I understand helping even when it is hard. I have been both places. Being able to help is one of the greatest blessings in life. Thank you for sharing this story.
I hope you’re having a wonderful summer. Take it seriously, of course, but don’t let the bad news of the day get you down. There is good all around us, all you need do is look for it.
As always, be sure to share HeroicStories with those that need it. And of course if you have a story of your own be sure to review the submission guidelines – we’d love to hear it.
Leo A. Notenboom
Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place