The panicked rush on all the major (and minor) grocery stores in the state the day after quarantine measures were announced nearly destroyed my faith in this country.
My son is a cart-pusher for Walmart and happened to be the only one scheduled that night.
He was run ragged for six hours bringing carts in from the parking lot (and not just from the nice little corrals where they’re supposed to go, but from in between cars all over the packed lot).
But instead of appreciating that he was doing his best, people were calling him names and pulling carts out of his line (which made him lose the balance and momentum of the line and almost run into cars) and accusing him of hiding carts; they were driving like mad people in the parking lot and honked at him to get out of their way, or nearly clipped him; and one guy actually shoved him so hard with his cart he was limping.
I thought, how have we fostered such a bullying attitude in our communities? How have we become so complacent and selfish that right when we need patience and kindness the most, this is the kind of reaction we have?
But I quickly realized that’s how we’ve been told we’re going to make America great again: by looking out for number one and stomping all over anyone who gets in our way.
And too many people really believe it. But as I continued to shake my head and consider whether to migrate to Canada, good things started showing up that convinced me that all hope is not lost for our country.
Comcast announced that they will provide free internet for low-income families so their kids can complete their schoolwork while in quarantine.
Rocky Mountain Power pledged not to turn anyone’s power off for nonpayment during the quarantine and offered to restore power to any homes that had recently been shut off for nonpayment.
Phone companies suspended charges for long distance and activation fees and upgraded mobile hot spot data for high schoolers.
Grocery stores bent over backwards to try to provide necessaries for everyone clamoring for them, and to create safe spaces for those most at risk for the virus to be able to shop.
Sports stars donated money to help provide testing for those waiting for it.
And everyday people offered to share what they had with those who were unable to get what they needed.
This has restored my hope in America.
This community mindedness, this unselfish action on behalf of those in need, this willingness to put one’s resources to good use; this is what has always made America great.
This quiet but strong undercurrent of goodness and right is what won the Revolutionary War, and ended slavery, and gave women the vote, and finally declared every human being equal.
Not the Trail of Tears, Not Governor Boggs’s murderous edict, Not building a wall, Not unbending partisan loyalty.
Open, disinterested willingness to do what we can to make the world a better place is what will save this nation and make it great again.
I also have hope for the rising generation, because my son, despite all odds on that awful night, decided not to have a bad attitude, and just kept doing his best to get the carts where people could use them, and trying to be considerate and patient.
If our teenagers can lead the way like that, with the good examples that are out there, then perhaps even those who have forgotten what it means to be responsible citizens will eventually figure it out. (Serve Daily submission.)
– Judith H Everett
Today, I feel so grateful to work in this community.
With all that has been going on, someone anonymously dropped this note off in my shop. It included a hundred dollar bill for each of my barbers.
With so many scary things happening in the world, this couldn’t have happened at a better time.
I’m so humbled to know that there is so much kindness in this world.
Thank you, Spanish Fork, for all your support, and most of all, thank you to whoever dropped this off in my shop. It means more than you know!
– Mersadies Reber
Owner of The Fellas Chop Shop