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To catch goodness in the act, you must open yourself up to it

All the Good in the World
By Alisa on Jan 06, 2014 11:58 am

Every day, various people Google, “What good is there in the world?” Maybe you’ve wondered this yourself.

If so, I have very good news for you: Good is as abundant as space in the universe.

Sure, the world can seem like a dark, no-good place, especially if your marriage is bad, you’re out of work, you’re passing the time by reading and watching the news.

Just today, from news reports, you could easily come to the conclusion that delivery people are no good (one was caught on camera hurling a fragile package onto a porch), Alabama fans are no good (one of them attacked many of those rooting for the other team), airplanes are no good (one crashed in Aspen), the weather is no good (it’s colder than it’s been in 20 years), apartments are no good (a fire inside of one in killed one person and injured many others) and life is no good (various people have died today or will probably die very soon).

And that’s a fairly cheerful news day if you ask me.

Here’s the thing: if you see your surroundings through the lens of the news, you’ll end up seeing a nightmarish world that is inhabited by cruel, lazy, hapless, selfish, aggressive, close-minded, heartless people. You won’t hear about the tens of thousands of planes that land safely or that it’s sixty degrees in San Francisco. Nor will you find a news story about an apartment building that didn’t burn down, a package that arrived intact and on time, or a football fan who has never harmed another human being ever during her entire life.

When you talk to friends, they won’t tell you about the loaf of bread that wasn’t moldy. They’ll also neglect to mention that they are still alive, that nothing hurts, and they don’t have a cold.

Your significant other won’t remind you that the fridge still keeps things cold or that it will be weeks — perhaps months — before either one of you must purchase new underwear, and your neighbors won’t pull you aside and proclaim, “No one broke into my house last night!”

Strangers won’t remark, “Wow, this public bathroom doesn’t smell” and motorists won’t mumble “This highway doesn’t have any traffic” and “Look at all of those people who stopped at that traffic light.”

That’s because all of these things are normal and normal doesn’t make the news.

And this is precisely why you never hear about all the good in the world: Good is normal. It’s:

The flight attendant who gently puts a snoozing man’s seat into the upright position during a landing, taking care not to wake him.
Countless people who would love to scream and carry on about the tragedy of having to wait on the longest bathroom line ever, but who keep those thoughts to themselves because they don’t want to more bring pain and suffering onto anyone else with a full bladder.
That neighbor who thinks of you every time she walks past your house.
The crocus flowers poke their way through the soil every single year. No matter how cold or long a winter, spring never fails to come.
Countless people who say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”
Strangers are willing to bless you whenever you sneeze.
Friends who pray for you whenever you get sick.
Neighbors who shovel your walkway while you are out of town.
That dog who is always happy to see you.
All of the people who, every single day, wake up and decide to devote their lives to helping, protecting, and saving others. Every police officer, nurse, teacher, crossing guard, and ambulance driver is a sign of good in the world.
The brilliant people who invented the Internet, Words For Friends, and fried chocolate cake.
The person who shows up for work every single day so she can clean the bathrooms at the New York Port Authority.
The cat who keeps your feet warm every night.
The child who shares her ice cream cone.
All of the people who go for a hike and come back alive and without a nasty case of poison ivy.
Every day you don’t have to remove a tick from your dog’s backside or remove his bodily fluids from a white carpet.
People who give millions of dollars to charity.
Charities.
Holiday lights.
People who give blood just because they have blood to give.
Organ donors.
That guy who hums or sings while he works.
Friends who share their dessert.
Being able to walk down the street without ever once getting smashed by a falling Anvil or piano.
A television channel devoted to any interest you might have today or someday in the future.
Relaxation being available to anyone who knows how to breathe.
Running water.
The ability to learn just about anything by asking Google or watching videos on YouTube.
The people who empty your trash and cart it away without ever once yelling, “What are you doing in that house to create this stinky rotten mess!?!”
Snow that melts.
People who give their spare change to just about anyone who asks for it, including strangers who are desperately trying to feed their parking meters.
Things that work when you press the “on” button.
People who smile.
Children laughing while at the school playground.
Parents who make sure your kids gets across the street safely.
Sick people who sit in the sick area of the waiting room and who cover their mouths with their elbows when they couch or sneeze.
Doctors and nurses who touch sick people.
People who obey the law.
Drivers who don’t run red lights, tailgate, honk excessively, or flip off everyone else on the road.
Waiters and waitresses who are willing to sing “Happy Birthday” to people they don’t even know.
Volunteers.
Husbands who hold their wives’ elbows as they two walk along on icy sidewalks.
Birds that sing in all types of weather.
Aging people willing to share their knowledge.
Young people willing to carry heavy things for aging people.
A pen being handed to you whenever you need to sign something.
911 operators who stay on the line until help arrives.
People who learn CPR in the event they ever have the opportunity to save someone else’s life.
A beating heart.
I could go on and on, but I’ll let you all fill out the list.

My point: the world is an awesome, beautiful, amazing place. Goodness lurks all around us. It doesn’t call attention to itself. Nor does it ask for credit. To catch goodness in the act, you must open yourself up to it. You have train your eyes to see it, your ears to hear it, and your entire being to feel it.

It’s there, my friends. Is there any good in this world? Is there ever.

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