Hey Jim, is there any good news out there? Your faithful reader, Virginia

Published: June 24, 2016

By Jim Lichtman
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Yes, Virginia, good news does exist.

Sumeja Tulic reported to the website Gothamist.com: “[A] few minutes before the train arrived, a man in his late 50s/early 60s fell on the subway tracks. Without hesitation, 3 men jumped on the subway track and pulled him out. The man was unconscious and bleeding.”

“Ms. Tulic,” The New York Times reports (June 14), “a human rights worker now studying in the graduate journalism school at the City University of New York, pulled out her cellphone and recorded the events.

“ ‘It was nerve-racking to know that the train was coming,’ Ms. Tulic said. ‘Will it stop? Will they succeed to pull him out?’

“ ‘I don’t know where these men got the wit and the quickness,’ Ms. Tulic said. ‘The man who fell was about six foot tall, a heavy man by default. He was kind of jammed in the tracks.’ ”

“On the tracks,” the Times said, “the unconscious man was propped to a sitting position by the three men, who then lifted him from below to others who hoisted from above and rolled him onto the platform. Then the rescuers were themselves rescued, hauled back to safety by helping hands.

“Among others, two of the men who had jumped onto the platform were holding his hand. ‘They were saying, “Buddy, you’re going to be fine,” ’ Ms. Tulic said. ‘This was an additional layer of goodness.’ ”

With all the turmoil in the world, it may appear as if there are no acts of courage, compassion, respect or responsibility; that people are selfish or dispassionate.

It’s not true, Virginia and don’t let anyone ever try to convince you otherwise.

There are, in fact, hundreds of thousands if not millions of good acts performed every day by doctors, nurses, emergency workers, police, fire and, as witnessed by Sumeja Tulic, ordinary citizens who recognized someone in trouble and did not hesitate to help regardless of religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion, bank account or neighborhood where he lived.

At the height of the Holocaust, when all seemed lost to a dictator’s hateful obsession, thirteen-year-old Anne Frank wrote these words of hope and humanity in her diary before she and her family were taken to a concentration camp:

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

In all the world, Virginia, there is nothing more abiding than basic human kindness.


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