This thought was prompted by my trip to the post office with Janey this afternoon. I should have gone while she was in summer school, but I didn't make it. So I took her after school, and she was not happy. She was tired, hot, just not in a post office mood, I guess. I tried bribing her with donuts if she could be good. And she tried. She really tried. She kept saying to herself "If you are good, you can have a donut!" but then crying hysterically. And as I tried to hurriedly get my posting done, she suddenly hugged the teenager behind us in line, a violent, tight hug, while she cried her eyes out. I quickly tried to get her away, but the girl said "It's fine! It's okay! She is so sweet! How old is she?" I said almost 8, and as she looked a little surprised, I said "She is autistic" The girl said "Oh! Just like my nephew!" and kept holding onto Janey, despite Janey's increasingly tight hugging and loud crying. I tried to comfort Janey, reminding her about the donut, and the clerk said "Oh, she's doing the best she can! She's tired! It's hard for all of us to be good!" and then he pulled out a wedding picture to show me his niece, who was the flower girl and also autistic. Those two fine people, so different in age and appearance and background, both made me feel so hopeful about the human race. As I left, I heard the clerk telling the teenager what a fine person she was, how nice she had been. My eyes were filled with tears.
I have to remember people like that when things get hard. People, I truly believe, are mostly good. They want to be kind, they want to do the right thing. Not everyone, but a good deal of people. And I am very grateful that is the case.