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A Tiny Glimmer of Hope

Not everything is dark and evil today!

By Friendly Bear  |  December 19, 2022

by Friendly Bear

Americans have suffered more than two and half years of bad news. We've been subjected to a virus that conveniently popped onto the scene to shut down the economy and usher in a mail-in, "voting month" to replace a solitary voting day. Throw in ballot harvesting and voter rolls that include more dead people than a zombie movie film festival and you get two highly disputed elections.

Just when the COVID lockdowns looked boring, the summer of 2020 brought enough riots that brick tossing nearly became an Olympic sport. Rowdy rioters practiced their craft until politicians, cowering behind their heavily-armed bodyguards, promised not to enforce pretty much any law.

Salesmen, be they men or women, have to steel themselves with confidence and optimism to survive a dozen rejections before they succeed. Salesmen that I know have experienced enough setbacks since early 2020 to clearly dampen their famous optimism.

I'm not cut out for sales, but I admire those who are. I admire how these men and women are able present exactly the same knowledge and professionalism, day-in and day-out, no matter how bad was the day before.

Unlike those among us who can hide any trace of how bad news affects them, I am more easily read. For reasons that are beyond me, every morning I wake up happy. Bad news, such as American politics over the past few years, simply increases the edginess in my writings.

The edginess is not a phenomenon exclusive to me. As liberals and conservatives have become increasingly divided, the edginess in their writings has noticeably increased.

Five years ago, a friend named Gary observed that the same news story as told by CNN was practically unrecognizable when presented by FoxNews. This is even more apparent when comparing reader comments posted to news stories. So great is the divide among Americans that some people speak openly about their fears of civil war.

Tonight, I returned home from a long distance work trip. I also have great respect for people possessing the ability to constantly fly commercial.

You have to get to the airport way ahead of time, clear security, share space with some nice people and a few people whose photos should be in dictionaries next to the word obnoxious, do track and field across two concourses to catch a connecting flight that's closing its door, and de-planing resembles a large barroom brawl.

It was in the final moments of tonight's creepy cauldron of travel that something wonderful emerged in response to a sad event.

The plane was behind schedule and most of the passengers had the fear of missing connecting flights agitating them. It was getting late and they still had far to travel. As we were descending to land, a flight attendant spoke over the plane's intercom to thank us for choosing to endure traveling on that airline.

It was apparent that the flight attendant had lost their previously ebullient voice. The flight attendant began to more slowly and deliberately inform us of an issue that had just arisen. The flight attendant explained to us that one of the passengers was a woman whose son had been in a serious car crash while driving to the airport to pick her up. The jabbering passengers on the big jet fell silent as the flight attendant asked if everyone would remain in their seats to allow the woman to leave first and be driven quickly to the hospital to see her son, possibly for the last time.

As we continued another twenty-five minutes until landing and taxiing to the terminal, the passengers continued to talk as before. Then, as the plane reached the terminal, the passengers, without cue, simultaneously fell silent and remained still in their seats.

Composed, the woman, who had been seated near the rear of the plane, hurried forward to the front of the plane. Her barely coordinated gait conveyed urgency. But, as she arrived at the front of the cabin, the woman suddenly broke down sobbing. Two of the flight attendants lunged forward to catch the distraught mother as she began falling. I could hear the third flight attendant using an airline radio softly, yet rapidly coordinating assistance for the mother. The other passengers continued their self-imposed silence.

After the mother facing tragedy had left the plane, the passengers shoved their small plastic booze bottles in their pockets, leaped from their seats and began dangerously jerking suitcases from overhead bins in a resumption of their barroom brawl behavior.

It was uplifting that a large jet, filled with tired, grumpy passengers, liberals and conservatives, of different races, different ethnicities, and certainly different religions, spontaneously accepted an inconvenience to help a stranger. Maybe there is hope for us yet.