These days, I am more convinced than ever of the importance of shining a light on those people who step out of their comfort zones to help others. Some of my past good people have truly been heroes, while others were notable for simple things they did to help someone. We can all find ways to be helpers, maybe even heroes to some. And you know what? When we help someone else, we help ourselves too!
A new study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that performing acts of kindness can heal depression and anxiety. Since I want to get right on to this week’s good people, I won’t copy the article, but it is something to think about if you have the time and inclination to follow the link.
Today I have just a few stories of good people doing small, but oh-so-important things for others, but first, I have a brief update on a previous good people. You remember Jay Withey who broke into a school in Buffalo, New York, during the blizzard last month to give stranded motorists a warm place to survive until they could be rescued? Well, the Buffalo Bills NFL team was so grateful for what Mr. Withey did that they thanked him with two tickets to the Super Bowl this year! Former Bills running back Thurman Thomas personally delivered the surprise to Withey Friday. Jay says he can’t believe the amount of people who have reached out to him, including thank you letters all the way from Australia!
Police often get a bum rap, sometimes deservedly so, but there are many good police officers out there who genuinely care about the people in their community. Officer Melissa Martin of the Denver Police Department is one such. On New Year’s Eve, Officer Martin responded to a noise complaint. Martin learned the woman she encountered had just escaped an abusive relationship and recently moved into an apartment on her own.
The woman told Martin she was struggling with mental illness and substance abuse, and said she hadn’t eaten in four or five days. Martin found her refrigerator empty and decided to buy the woman groceries for the week with her own money. Says Officer Martin …
“I try really hard not to judge just try to help them in the situation that they find themselves. If the world would just treat people like they would like be treated, how much of a difference might that make?”
How much of a difference, indeed. Thank you, Officer Martin!
Melissa and Justin threw a birthday bash for their son, Maverick’s, second birthday at Napoli’s Brick Oven Pizza in Hoboken, New Jersey. Friends and family were invited and a good time was had by all. But, when Melissa went to pay the bill, she was told it had already been paid by ‘strangers’. The strangers, who are parents of three kids themselves, told the waiter they wanted to remain anonymous.
Again, a relatively small thing, but a meaningful one … somebody spent their own hard-earned money to help a family celebrate their child’s birthday.
A woman named Leslie Wagner writes …
When the supermarket clerk tallied up my groceries, I was $12 over what I had on me. I began to remove items from the bags, when another shopper handed me a $20 bill. “Please don’t put yourself out,” I told him. “Let me tell you a story,” he said. “My mother is in the hospital with cancer. I visit her every day and bring her flowers. I went this morning, and she got mad at me for spending my money on more flowers. She demanded that I do something else with that money. So, here, please accept this. It is my mother’s flowers.”
And another, Jamie Boleyn, tells …
While going through a divorce, my mother fretted over her new worries: no income, the same bills, and no way to afford groceries. It was around this time that she started finding boxes of food outside our door every morning. This went on for months until she was able to land a job. We never did find out who it was who left the groceries for us, but they truly saved our lives.
See, folks … good people are everywhere. We don’t see them on the nightly news much, for they don’t sell ad copy like the bad news does, but they are there. I bet that each of us can find some way to help another if we just think about it. Those who do good instead of evil are the ones who make the world go ‘round, and seeing them or reading about them reminds us that there is more good in the world than bad … it’s just that the good is not as noisy!