The musings of a previously unemployed Jewish Freemason. I write about the job search, about Judaism, and about Freemasonry.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Goodness of the American People

I found myself in an airport a few months ago, waiting at the gate an hour before my plane started boarding. In front of me were a family: mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, child and toddler. The mother, grandparents and child went to buy something at a store, leaving the father and his toddler daughter behind. After a few minutes, the toddler became agitated. She began to yell for her mother. Her father gently reminded her that her mother was coming back soon, but to no avail. The toddler worked herself into a state, shrieking and crying for her mother. She dominated the attention of everyone at the gate.

The woman sitting next to me reached over to the child, and placed her on her lap. She cradled the child's head against her breast and began to rock her back and forth. The child relaxed immediately, shut her eyes, and stopped crying. The woman continued to rock the toddler gently as her breathing slowed. In a few minutes, she was resting comfortably, when her mother returned. The toddler leaped out of the woman's lap and into her mother's arms with a triumphant "Mommy!" and all was well.

I travel all over the world, and meet people from many different places. There are very few places where someone would attempt to handle a stranger's child in front of a lot of people, and even fewer where this would be acceptable to everyone present. As much as we bicker, as factional as America seems, at the core is an essential goodness to our character that rarely makes itself as present as it did at that moment. It is that goodness that will get us through dark times, and not a withholding of that goodness.

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