Bad news. It’s so pervasive– especially with online media updating at a constant rate. Worst of all, each headline seems to be tailored to my new parental worries. All of the things I found distantly disturbing are now so much more troubling as a mom: kidnapping, abuse, failing schools, inflation, pollution, drugs, Justin Bieber. Sometimes it’s hard not to think that the universe is picking on me, showing me all of the horrors just waiting for Lucie down the road.
And then there are days like today. Yes, it’s sunny out and yes, we are on our way to celebrate Mama K’s birthday. But this is a story about the good stuff that still exists in the world, and something that I hope Lucie gets to see a whole lot more of growing up.
This morning started out with a great breakfast. Our realtor and her partner, both friends of ours, took us out to celebrate the closing of our new home (more on that later). While eating, we witnessed an unleashed German shepherd and what seemed like her owner (turns out it wasn’t) running up and down the street. Up and down, up and down. Another woman joined them. Casual comments were made about the dog’s safety and the owner’s ability to catch up to his dog. Before we could get up to assist, the group was out of sight.
After breakfast, The Roquardts were headed back on a busy 5-lane road, when Kate saw the German shepherd again. “Is that the same dog?” she asked. Before I could reply, she did a U-turn and followed it down a neighborhood street. We also noticed two other people who were jog/walking down the sidewalk with a leash. I jumped out and Kate grabbed the leash in our trunk– the one we keep for occasions such as this, which oddly occur more than one would think.
“Are you chasing that dog?” I called. The couple said yes, and that it wasn’t theirs, either. I could tell they were pooped; it turns out they had been running for about a mile. At that time we were two miles away from the breakfast place.
“Jump in,” I said. At that moment it didn’t strike me as odd that I was inviting two strangers, a man and a woman, into our car to sandwich the babbling infant in the back seat. Okay, it sort of did, because I “gave up” the front seat to occupy one of the back seats.
Long story short, we stalked the dog for about 30 more minutes and finally caught her. It turns out that the couple didn’t know each other, and that the man saw the woman running and offered to help. I also learned that the other woman kept an extra leash in her purse “just in case.” The strangers offered to take the dog to the shelter, but Kate and I ended up driving her there. Here paws were bloody from her travels, and she had already made a bed in the back end of our car. On the way, I found a lost dog posting on Craigslist and contacted the potential owner. The microchip ID was confirmed and the dog went home with her relieved family. The owners lived about six miles away from where we finally found the dog.
There are bad people in this world. They hurt others. They steal, lie, cheat, extort and act in cruel and selfish ways. But today we saw at least four people, not including ourselves, who risked their physical safety to prevent the harm of another creature. Those people came together for a common cause and kept in touch for the rest of the day. We also met kind and caring staff at the animal shelter, who told us that contacting the owner directly would save them the intake fee (i.e. revenue for the shelter).
All of those people learned their good values from someone, and Kate and I learned them from our parents, teachers and mentors along the way. That means that there are at least ten other good people in the world. Those ten people learned kindness, generosity and compassion from at least ten others, so that makes twenty. You see where I’m going with this. The world is not such a bad place, after all. In fact, it can be filled with inspiring, loving, altruistic moments, and I’m looking forward to passing that along.