Look for it.

Open your eyes for just a minute and you will see people helping people all over our communities.

Take a quick look around; look beyond the long gas lines and crowded stores, and you will see the many acts of kindness. Churches, community organizations, and individuals are putting on their best smiles and rolling up their sleeves to be a blessing to others.

Just this week, I’ve heard of people cleaning yards, giving out free food, organizing missions to harder hit areas, taking displaced folks into their homes, and I personally know of many individuals who are quietly helping behind the scenes with no thought of recognition.

Although none of us have been completely unscathed by the recent storm, there will always be people who have it tougher than we do if we only take a look around.

Many, many have had to come to terms with the grief of losing loved ones and friends. I don’t personally know of anyone who hasn’t been touched in some negative way by the pandemic, but add to that the regular, every day things that people go through, and the needs are all around us.

When I let my own attitude slip during trying circumstances, it never fails to make me feel better about my own situation when I find someone to bless.

A few minutes of feeling good about helping someone is wonderful, but when our good deeds are done in secret or without calling attention to ourselves, our reward comes from God. I thought about all the quiet, unsung heroes this week. There are so many who go about their daily lives with their eyes and ears open to opportunities to spread a little sunshine day in and day out, and I say kudos to them.

With all that has happened in the last little while it would be easy to retreat into our comfortable, cozy shells and let others fend for themselves, but it does my heart so much good to see the many, many people reaching out to their neighbors, friends, and even strangers with a heart of love and compassion.

Honestly, this is what it will take to get our nation and our world back on track. The fighting and hate that is freely spewed over the airwaves might make us think that the whole world has gone crazy, but when we turn off the TV and leave our phones alone for a minute we regain our focus.

Let’s look around at all the good happening in our world and decide to be a part of it. Just think, before the Internet we didn’t know half of the crazy. When we truly put our faith into action and try to help someone else all the ugly seems to fade away. God is love, and love will illuminate even the darkest corner.

I’ve always been proud to be a Christian, a Southerner, and a Mississippian, but these days I’m especially proud.

Mississippi native Jan Penton Miller is a retired public school teacher.

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