Good news goes a long way
October 10, 2016
Filed under Good News Goes a Long Way
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Walking down the streets of Portland, there are about 600,000 faces that pass by: the student, the artist, the small business owner, and the homeless. We walk by these faces every day, always seemingly too busy to take time to ask how they’re doing, and too self concerned to smile. Over 2,000 students walk Sunset’s halls. It is easy to talk about the student body when they represent a number, but if all the students of Sunset High School are lined up, they become much more than a statistic. They become people with their own sets of challenges.
In the Portland community, it is easy to see many people passing on the streets, I never noticed much of it until recently when I looked at one man’s face. At a stop light, I saw him on the side of the road. He had nothing with him and from what I could gather, he was homeless. All he had on was an old gray long sleeve shirt with thick black suspenders that hooked into a pair of beat up jeans. At about 60 years of age, his stomach rounded out before him and his head had salt and pepper tufts. What stood out the most was his face, grimy and ruddy. His eyes however, cut like a knife, damp as if he just finished crying. There was a haunting sadness to his countenance. He was sad and had nowhere to go. I cannot explain how I remember him so vividly, only that in life people are given rare chances to connect with others; this was mine.
All it took was five seconds. In five seconds, a connection was formed. I had no money to give him, I simply looked without hate, without judgement, and watched. There is nothing more beautiful in the world then when two people understand each other.
Everyday there are ways to give to people that are much more effective than a half-hearted smile walking down the hallway. There are students that hold open doors for each other in our school. They are the goodness, their voices and actions should be heard above the noise of school shootings. Leadership sent some of the seniors candy bars and notes for motivation. Students thank teachers after leaving their class. Peers reach down to pick up someone’s papers or pencil that they’ve dropped. Compliments are given freely by friends, teachers, and that one kid you got paired up with in biology. Call it whatever you want, but there are great and fantastic things that are happening all around Sunset. These acts may go unnoticed but contribute to an overall goodness that blankets us all.
Good news always starts with the people. Good people. The community at Sunset is a living and breathing organism that feels the pain of our losses, but also refutes it with the goodness and happiness. We overcome it. There is always hope. So, look up at the next person who opens a door for you or that person who is the last one in the cafeteria that picks up everyone’s trash. Notice the good.