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The Good Life: There is good everywhere
February 12, 2015 Lisa Betz   

Read more by Lisa Betz
Over the last week there have been several heartwarming stories reported about the generosity of people in the Valley. We all know there are many community and individual needs to be found here; some due to unexpected tragedies, some relate to the inequities of our society, some cannot be explained; however, when there is great need our community reaches out with big hearts and hands to help.

Fundraisers are planned, donations are sought and found, and peopleís extreme needs are met.

Last weekend the people of the Valley raised $11,000 for the Fitts family to help a kindergartener battle childhood cancer and be able to return to school. A week ago, Soroptimist members raised nearly $20,000 to benefit valuable programs benefiting women and children. A skating party fundraiser has been organized to help Lisa Guel who was involved in a tragic automobile accident that cut short the life of her beautiful daughter, Bela, one day before her 11th birthday.

The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Brannan Bounce and Skate World, located at 775 Crescent Drive, Gering. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the family for medical and funeral expenses.

Whenever there is a need for which our community rallies to help, I see numerous posts on Facebook marveling about how unique and amazing our community is because of this generous and loving response, truly a wonderful thing.

We see so many negative stories in the media about the rest of the world, how do we square the generosity of our community with the ugly things we see happening outside of it?

Mainstream media reports do sometimes shine a light on the goodness of other communities, such as the story that was reported about a Detroit man who walked 21 miles each day to get to his job. People around the world saw this story and donated enough money to buy him a car.

There was the story about a woman in Utah who runs a cupcake shop, that noticed a black SUV parked outside her door that matched the description of a kidnap alert and ran out to snatch a toddler through the window, saving that child from its kidnappers. People were so excited about her actions that friends had to take off work to help her manage the influx of customers that wanted to support her business afterward.

Sadly, mainstream media reports of human generosity, service and love are grossly underreported. Itís not that humanity isnít doing good deeds every day in the communities across our nation, itís that these stories are underreported.

Beautiful acts of service are happening everywhere in countries across the globe. Take the story of a 4-year-old Chinese boy named Li Haifeng, a double amputee, who wished for ďa pair of wingsĒ to help him fly after an accident two years ago. China Eastern Airlines made the boy a ďpilotĒ for the day, allowing him to tour an airplane and sit in the cockpit alongside the pilot. A photo of the boy riding on the back of an airline employee, arms spread as though flying, accompanied the story.

A story from the Netherlands reported the creation of a unique village called Hogewey. The whole village is equipped to provide dementia patients with the means to lead normal, independent lives. There is a grocery store, a theater, various restaurants and shops. The town itself is a care facility for its residents, yet allows them autonomy and a high quality of life.

Our community is amazing, generous, loving and good and so are most other communities around the world. The kicker of modern life is that, like the toddler pitching a screaming fit in the room, the eyes of agony and the voices of heartache and distress caused by evildoers are the loudest things we hear about our world as reported by mainstream media. These stories drown out everything else. We pay the most attention to the awful stories because they are more extreme, like the toddlerís screaming.

The truth of humanity is that we do care about each other. The stories of good in this world are endless and we rarely hear about them. Even seeking them out as I have done for this column, they are not easy to find amid the calamity, yet they are out there, unreported.
The prevalent thought today is that humanity is on the decline, doomed. While we do have troubles worldwide, donít let the screaming toddler be the only thing you hear. People are basically good. All one has to do is seek the good to discover this truth.
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