A friend and reader, Ellen, pointed me in the direction of a new source of ‘good news’ stories, and one of the first things I saw last evening when I visited the site in search of ‘good people’, was this headline:
The Most Inspiring Everyday People of 2018 Showered the World With Kindness: Our Top 10 Favorites
I visited and found some awesome stories of everyday people doing small kindnesses for others. Two of the ten turned out to be stories I had previously included in my ‘good people’ posts, but I want to share a few of the others with you today.
The first one is just a small thing, really, but I found it touching. It happened at LAX airport last February. A young mom, pregnant and with a toddler in tow, was trying to board her flight, but the toddler apparently had other ideas and was having a meltdown, running from the mother, crying uncontrollably. Been there, done that, and I could feel that mother’s frustration as I read this story.
Finally, the young mother simply sat down on the floor of the airport, placed her hands over her face and joined her son in having a good cry. As if by some unseen, unheard signal, suddenly 6 or 7 women came to the pair and worked their magic. One sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider to the young boy, another peeled an orange for mother and son, another pulled a toy from her bag, while yet another offered the mom a bottle of water and words of comfort. Within a few short minutes, both mother and son were calm and able to board their flight. It is said that the women did not speak of what was being done or what needed to be done, and yet acted as a team, as if it were a well-coordinated effort. According to one of the women …
“After they went through the door we all went back to our separate seats and didn’t talk about it… we were strangers, gathering to solve something. It occurred to me that a circle of women, with a mission, can save the world. I will never forget that moment.”
Solidarity. Empathy. Compassion. Kindness.
Adarsh Shrivastava was on a train that was traveling through Uttar Pradesh in northern India in July when he noticed something strange about his fellow passengers. His train cabin was filled with girls between the ages of 10 and 14 – and almost all of them were visibly distressed. Some of the youngsters were even crying.
Sensing that something was afoot, Shrivastava pulled out his phone, created a new Twitter account, and sent several messages detailing the situation to railway and law enforcement authorities, saying that he suspected the girls to be victims of human trafficking.Upon writing out his cabin and train number, the Good Samaritan only had to wait thirty minutes before the Ministry of Railways Twitter account responded to the message. A few stops later, several police officers boarded the train and arrested two men who had been transporting the girls for a human trafficking scheme.
“Their parents have been informed and the men have been taken into custody,” a statement from the Railway Protection Force said.
Many social media users are calling Shrivastava a hero and asking the Prime Minister of India to honor him for his actions – however, Shrivastava has simply responded by saying: “Thanks, but as a citizen of India, it’s our responsibility to help people.”
Humility. Courage. Responsibility. Empathy.
It was on a routine flight to Jamaica that an elderly woman suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Luckily there was a nurse onboard, but she was unable to relieve the woman’s breathing distress. However, there were two very inventive anesthesiologists aboard the flight, Matthew Stevenson and John Flanagan. After determining that the plane was not equipped with a hand-operated, manual resuscitator, the two men leapt into action. Dr. Stevenson performed CPR on the woman while Dr. Flanagan concocted a makeshift ventilator using tubing and an airbag from one of the plane’s emergency masks and connecting the device to the onboard oxygen tank.The two doctors worked to keep oxygen flowing to the woman’s lungs with the makeshift device for 45 minutes, until the plane was able to make an emergency landing in Fort Lauderdale. Passengers pitched in, too, holding the doctors steady during the bumpy landing. When medics rushed onto the plane to take over, the passengers gave a cheering round of applause to the two doctors.In this, the day of frivolous lawsuits, many doctors will not step into such a situation, for their malpractice carriers caution them against touching a person in distress without a liability waiver. These two men put a human being first.
Caring. Humanity. Courage. Responsibility.
Randy Heiss had been out on a walk with his dog in Patagonia, Arizona when he saw a deflated red balloon trapped in some shrubs. More peculiarly, there was a little note attached to the string. The note, which was written in Spanish, was a Christmas list that was addressed to Santa from a little girl named Dayami. The sweet youngster simply said that she wanted some paints and new clothes for Christmas.Heiss was moved by the letter, not just because of its innocence, but also because he used to send letters to Santa the very same way – so he became dedicated to fulfilling the child’s Christmas wish. But … how to find the child?
“It really touched my heart to find it and I said well how in the heck am I going to be able to figure out how to make contact with this little girl and make her wishes come true.”
He took to social media, hoping to find someone who could put him in contact with the family. With Christmas looming ever closer, Heiss eventually approached a Mexican radio station for help, and within one hour of them broadcasting his story, he was connected with Dayami’s family in Nogales, Sonora.
Delighted for an opportunity to bring some holiday magic to the family, Heiss ditched work to go shopping for Dayami’s gifts at Walmart and bring them down to Nogales.Dayami’s family was extremely grateful for the gesture, and Heiss and his wife were careful about telling the kids that the gifts were from Santa. Heiss gained even more joy from his gesture, though …
“We lost our son nine years ago. So, we don’t have grandchildren in our future and so really getting to share Christmas with kids was something that’s been missing in our lives.”
Heiss has stayed in touch with Dayami’s parents through social media, and they are quickly becoming extensions of each other’s families – all thanks to his act of Christmas compassion.
Generosity. Sharing. Kindness. Love.
I end this post with a quote from English writer John Bunyan:
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Let’s all try to be ‘good people’ this year, shall we? Remember, it isn’t the size of what you do, but the spirit with which you do it.