Dealing with the public, hearing my mom talk about the people that she serves at the court, seeing some of the parents at Zachary's school really makes me question the goodness of human nature. Really makes me question whether there are actually good people out there at all.
But then, just when I feel that all hope is lost for people in America, someone steps up and re-establishes my faith in the human race.
Yesterday, the family and I went to Hometown Days: the festival in my hometown that is complete with parade, carnival, games, pony rides, etc. We usually try to make it to the parade on a yearly basis, and this year was no different. (although we arrived late and surprised the heck out of my parents who thought we weren't coming!) The kids enjoyed the parade and some gentleman came walking back down the parade route and saw that the kids didn't have very much candy...and opened his backpack of leftover candy and told them to each take a handful. Zachary grabbed some...Lucas just one. "That's all, thank you!" The guy was a little surprised and even asked a couple times..."is that all you boys want?" Yep. They were just excited to have a few more pieces.
We went, as a family, to the car show (super cool!) where Chuck won a gift certificate for a free ice cream cone.
Then, we all headed down to the rides where mom and I each got the kids some tickets. Elizabeth had her first major ride (Oh, so cute on the carousel! She just grinned and grinned!) The boys were riding the bumper cars, so all of us were standing at the end waiting for them. After they got off, we took them aside and explained that they had ONE more ride to choose. After that one ride they were done. Chuck walked away for a minute while I was talking to the boys and came back and handed me money..$30 to be exact.
I thought it was from my parents and was just about to tell him to give it back to them when he explained that the guy over there gave it to him, stating that he "was out doing the Lord's work, and they were a blessed family and wanted to give something to another family."
I literally teared up. What an amazing man and family (his wife and teen daughter was sitting there with him). Not only did he allow us to give the kids another extra ride, a game, an elephant ear and pizza for my whole family, he restored my faith in the human race.
The news is inundated with bad news, bad people, murder and mayhem, it's so refreshing to see that there is still good people out there.
It also makes me want to do good for someone else; you know "pay it forward". I was laying in bed last night thinking about what I could do, how I could pay it forward when I remembered that last Monday I mowed the neighbors lawn because they hadn't had a chance to do it and his kids are all very allergic to the dust and pollen and such that happens with lawn mowing.
It made me wonder if this money was some sort of payment for my own good deeds. Made me think about how everything in this world is somehow interconnected. That even though you may not see it at that moment, you do get "payment" for good deeds. Not always in the form of money, maybe in the form of someone mowing your own lawn, bringing over a weeks worth of meals when you have a baby, or maybe just helping you out in a crunch.
Now, that doesn't mean that I don't want to still find a new way to pay it forward, but simply makes me consider that we are all interconnected in a way that maybe I've never considered before.
Thank you to the man in the black shirt at Hometown Days. My kids thank you. My parents thank you. And I thank you for helping to restore my faith.