When you're in the hard-news biz, it can be easy to get frustrated with humanity.
After all, look at what we have to deal with. Flip through the front of this week's issue, and you find coverage of a mass shooting, underwater mortgages, dishonest politicians and so on. There are days when I borrow my motto from my Tupperware lady, Dixie Longate: I hate people.
However, on this day, my tune is somewhat different.
My father passed away about two weeks ago, and ever since, people have flooded me with kindness. From the employee at the auto-parts store who went out of his way to help me recharge the air conditioner in my mom's car, to the bartender who left a box of chocolates and a complimentary round for me on the day of my father's memorial service, to my co-workers who pitched in to help cover for me in my absence (including colleagues who were on vacation), to countless others, people have been unbelievably kind. (Thanks to all of you, by the way.)
I don't know what it is about the death of a parent that brings out the best in other people. Perhaps it's the fact that it's a universal experience—almost all of us have parents, and most of us will outlive them. Perhaps it's just the fact that most people know how painful the experience of losing a parent can be, and that leads to softened hearts.
In any case, while the last couple of weeks have been no fun, it has been a wonderful, faith-reaffirming thing to see the positive, caring side of humanity in full force.