Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pollyanna speaks again

Today was Meet the Frogs day at TCU, and Jordan, Christian and Jacob were first in line (no, I did not go with them). Christian went to talk to Gary Patterson, but Jacob visited with his special buddy, Ju’juan Story, a wide receiver. Last year, Christian found Ju’juan’s wallet in a parking lot and returned it, and the football player has been Jacob’s hero ever since. The kindness that these football players show to star-struck youngsters at this event makes my heart glad. It’s one of the feel-good stories that convinces me there are a lot of good people in this world, and maybe, just maybe, American is growing kinder.

Take the three Americans—not Marines as originally reported but childhood friends—who were heroes in the terrorist attack on a French train. Or the firefighters who are working so tirelessly, at risk of their lives, in the State of Washington. Or the young man who sensed something wrong about a couple arguing at a bus stop and stayed with them until he could call the police—turns out the man was trying to kidnap his ex-girlfriend and the young man may well have saved her life. When I fell recently in a restaurant parking lot, a crowd of people was almost immediately upon me, offering help, expressing concern. I see other instances—not all of which I can call to mind right now, of the goodness of our people. I firmly believe that most people, given the chance, will do the right thing.

I am subject, as most of you know, to sudden attacks of “I can’t take a step away” from whatever secure thing I am holding on to. It’s that first step, and after that I’m off and running. I have asked a wide variety of strangers to help me, and each and every one has been helpful and concerned. It has occurred to me that I could be asking the wrong person—a purse thief, mugger, who knows what—but so far my faith in people is confirmed.

But then I read pure ugly hatred and fervent misinformation on Facebook, and I’m appalled. Obama is the son of Satan; Planned Parenthood is selling body parts from live fetuses; Boehner and McConnell are ready to sacrifice the security of America over the issue of Planned Parenthood; and on it goes. Politicians are playing to the ignorance and fear of too many Americans—what happened to public servants who had the good of the nation at heart? It too often seems that politicians have their egos and pocketbooks at heart. Disheartening. Call me Pollyanna again, but I believe good will triumph, and we will elect in 2016 a moderate, reasonable, capable president. Of course, being me, I know he’ll be a Democrat, but hey! That’s just me.

We live in interesting times, and I so often think of my father, a yellow-dog Democrat up north where that term wasn’t even known. He’d have apoplexy over our current political situation. But those of us out of the political spotlight? Most of us are good people, good Americans.

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