Where Do You See the Best of Humanity?

I decided to pull a few prompts from these cards, and should inspiration strike, write a post on one. Obviously one sparked an idea, or this would be the shortest post ever. But before I get to the topic at hand, allow me to share the three possibilities.

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Judging from the title, you can probably figure out which one I picked. I did so because in a climate that feels increasingly divisive and contentious, it can be hard to remember that most people are just doing their best and want to help others, even strangers. My answer to the following card came to mind immediately.

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I live in an area that is prone to drought and consequently, wildfires. In two consecutive summers, there were fires that took out hundreds of homes. The first of those led to the evacuation of 1/4 of the city.

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Credit: Flickr

The afternoon before the night the fire took the houses, my sons and I watched the flames move down the slope toward civilization (we were ten miles away). That night, live news showed houses being consumed, one after the other, while firefighters worked to save the ones they could.

It’s easy to feel hopeless in a moment like that, but it didn’t keep people from acting. Message threads on social media alerted those who were evacuated of shelters and of families with extra space in their homes. Supplies were bought and collected across the city, ready for anyone who needed them. I had to wait in a long line to drop supplies off at the food bank. The recovery was still long for those who lost everything, but they certainly weren’t left to recover alone.

Having watched other disasters around the country, I knew these “small” actions would largely go unnoticed. But in the middle of it, the way the community pulls together is nothing short of inspirational.

How would you respond to this prompt? What stands out for you?

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