They almost had me.
They were this close to convincing me that all the good is gone from America.
The media’s round-the-clock coverage about citizens protesting in our nation’s cities left me frustrated and pessimistic.
But then my neighbors stepped in. The folks who live here in Small Town America.
And they reminded me that good remains. That no matter what you believe about the current state of affairs, there are honest, selfless, generous people doing good things every day. And you only need look as far as Main Street to find them.
Like the contractor who encountered a widow in the hardware store looking for a new electrical outlet. Puzzled by her description of the problem, he asked for permission to accompany her home. And there he found a child-safe cover on the outlet that her aging eyes wouldn’t allow her to see. He removed the cover, plugged in the toaster and left. Without any compensation.
Or the couple who spent no less than 30 minutes trying to capture a frightened, injured dog alongside the highway.
And there were the kids at the football game who watched our group pick up trash following the game, and asked if they could help. What kid in his right mind would pass up the opportunity to pick up cheesy nacho tubs and half-full soda cans on a Saturday night?
Then, oddly enough, an entirely different group of kids pitched in at the Fall Festival. After they had run the balloon race, they took a few minutes to pick up the remaining pieces of balloon and went on their way. No one ever asked them to help.
May sound like small potatoes to you, but it isn’t. Because these kids will grow up to do even bigger things.
Like the small-business owner who is organizing fund-raisers for a local family struck by illness. They have four kids, no medical benefits, and they live on one income. So she set up a website to allow people to contribute and she has multiple fund-raisers planned. The football league has set up a fund-raiser of its own. And the baseball league is doing the same. There are canned food and toy drives planned for the family, and a rotating meal schedule for those who can cook for the family.
You may have figured out by now that ours is not a wealthy town. But it’s a resourceful one.
The thing they know here is that not everyone can help in the same way, but everyone can help somehow. Not everyone can financially support his neighbor, but he can certainly share his time and talents.
You may be thinking that it sounds a lot like a church you know of: people using their resources and abilities to serve others. The best part of our town is that service isn’t limited to the church. It spills out onto Main Street and into our community. It isn’t limited to any denomination or group. It cares only that you have a need.
I consider it an honor to occupy Main Street. I’m grateful to live in a community that doesn’t relegate service to Sunday mornings inside a church. I’m humbled to live among people whose first priority is helping others.
Perhaps the media should come visit.