Good People

There are good people in the world today. With so much negativity poured at us on a daily basis, it is good to know there are good people in this world. In May I did a two day stint in the hospital. In a place that can often be cold and clinical, I was pleasantly surprised in what I experienced. Sure I got poked, prodded and was downright uncomfortable but the people around me treated me well. There were two nurses in particular that stood out. The difference with these two was how genuine their actions felt. They seemed to really care that all was not right with me. One even took the time to talk one on one with my wife. She noticed my wife was upset and she pulled her aside to find out what was wrong, after all I was not in an emergency situation. That gesture meant the world to my wife. It didn’t stop with the hospital staff. I was edified by the thoughts, prayers and gestures of friends and wellwishers.

We recently took a vacation to Washington D.C. I have to say, that may have been the friendliest town I have visited. Certainly not what I expected, at all. Many times strangers walking by on the street stopped to ask “can I help you?” as I stood there looking like the lost tourist I was, pondering over a map. I didn’t have to drive much while there, but when I did and I had to change a lane or make a turn I didn’t anticipate, the “locals” gave me room. To be honest, I don’t know if that was just self preservation on their part or they were being helpful. I believe it was more the latter than the former based on my other experiences.

I like to think I am a good person, but must say, not always. God taught me a little lesson this weekend. I went to the zoo and as I was coming out I passed a young guy pulling a couple coolers followed by two kids. I noticed this young man had a couple piercings and tattoos. In my mind I wondered what kind of father he may be given his outward appearance. He was in the process of lighting a cigarette as I walked past him and I was a few of feet ahead of him when I heard one of the coolers starting to slip, and knew it was falling. I didn’t stop, I kept walking. After I heard the cooler fall, a lady from the other side of the sidewalk probably about 20 feet away hollered over to the young man and asked if he needed any help. I knew immediately I was not being a good person. I stopped and turned around to go help him since I was a bit closer, but he answered “no thanks, I’ve got it” and not much spilled out so I turned back around and continued on. I wonder now, if I hadn’t passed judgment, would I have stopped and at least tried to back up and catch the cooler before it fell. Even if I were not successful, wouldn’t that gesture have said something to him, and would that simple act have been a positive for his kids to witness?

Lastly, did you know there is a statue of St. Joseph and baby Jesus inside one of the buildings at the corner of Broad and High? My wife and son staked out a spot downtown for us to watch Red, White and Boom this year. I met them for lunch at Café Daniela, owned by none other than our fellow St. Michael’s parishioners Joe and Mary Jo Milano. The restaurant is on the southwest corner of Broad and High, literally at the center of Columbus. When I sat down at the table I couldn’t help but notice the two foot tall statue sitting up on a shelf. It made me smile, and knowing the Milanos I understood it was as an act of faith that they placed the statue there and not one of simple décor. A wonderful statement, a testament of faith, from good people.