Tough Times? It's Time to Shine

Ed Ponsi

Sometimes, living in 2020 feels like being in a Hollywood movie. Not the good kind. 

Thousands of lives have been lost. Tens of millions of jobs are gone. 

It's easy to see how people can lose faith in humanity. If you're feeling that way, I get it. But there are good people out there. You might not see them right now, but they exist. 

Back in March, when people were starting to panic over supplies, I became determined to obtain respirator masks for my family. 

Every day, I'd take a trip to my local hardware store to see if masks had arrived. I'd park, enter, and make a beeline to the same aisle every day. Sometimes twice. 

Every time, the shelf was empty. 

Then one day, a lone, small package was sitting on the shelf. A stack of about 10 respirator masks was visible through the clear, sealed packaging. These weren't the coveted N95 masks, but I was thrilled to get my hands on anything at that point. 

Another guy had shown up at about the same time. I reached for the package, the last one on the shelf, but he was just a little quicker. He was able to snatch it.  

The last package of masks was gone. He had beaten me in a fair race. He quickly took his prize to the self-checkout aisle. 

Alone in the store, I checked behind nearby boxes to see if any masks had been misplaced or hidden. No luck. I walked out. 

You'll never guess who was waiting for me outside.  

He didn't say a word. He tore the package in half and gave me a half-dozen masks.

Whenever I'm feeling down, I think of how grateful I am to be alive and healthy. I think of how thankful I am for my family, friends, and all the wonderful people in my life. 

And, I think of that moment in the parking lot.