One thing is sure: Things are not always pleasant — sometimes the days are gloomy. For the past three or four years, we have been reminded constantly by the news media and other sources of the existence of a poor economy. Unemployment has been reported to be at a record level, and work has been, and continues to be, extremely hard to find. For many, income has shrunk while the cost of living has increased dramatically. Interest rates on savings accounts are lower than they have been in decades, impacting the lives of many. For some time, there has not been much encouraging news to lift the human spirit.
Recently, in one week, I found it necessary to visit eight local businesses in our community — the restaurant where I normally go to eat several times each week, the business where I occasionally purchase gasoline and some other necessary items, the neighborhood family-owned grocery store where I find it necessary to go to get some common household supplies, the salon where I go regularly to get my hair cut, the local newspaper office where I often find it necessary to go, the bank where I go occasionally to do some business, and the local pharmacy to which I go regularly to get our necessary pharmaceutical supplies. In each of those businesses, caring people — friendly, helpful, and trustworthy — met me graciously and went out of their way to assist me. These are the people — possessing friendliness, honesty, integrity and goodwill — that are the kind of people that I have always been told by my elders are “the salt of the earth.”
The economy may not be at its best, and things can be depressing, but even in a depressed situation, there is a good reason to be hopeful. One foundation stone of that spirit of hopefulness is to be found in the good people with integrity and trustworthiness in their hearts that surround us on every hand, and there are plenty of them.