I am an eternal optimist. If someone could see a glass as half full, and do it through rose-colored glasses, that would be me.
And ever since James Shaw Jr., 29, proved to the world that not all heroes wear capes — when he took on a gunman at a Waffle House outside of Nashville, pulled the assault rifle from his hands and saved God knows how many lives — I have been keeping track of my observations that prove how true Luke Bryan’s “Most People Are Good” really is. It’s like a personal diary of good vibes.
And if Bryan could ever make the song twice as long, and the song’s writers David Frasier, Ed Hill and Josh Kear agreed, here are some ideas that might sound great in the song.
1. When I was in Las Vegas for the ACM Awards, I met a survivor of the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. I asked her how she’d escaped after the shooting stopped, and after she’d lost track of her friends, her phone and her sense of direction. She told me she’d kind of wandered out of the festival grounds, and just started walking. A woman in a car pulled up beside her and said, “I have a full tank of gas, let’s go find people to drive back to their hotels.”
2. My daughter was leaving a babysitting job in the middle of the night last month, trying to navigate her way back to Austin from the scenic-but-scary Texas Hill Country. Her iPhone’s map was busted, and she was terrified. She found one little gas station that was still open, and through her tears, she managed to tell the man working there her address. He took his time, calmed her down, drew her a detailed old-school map, and blessed her safe journey home.
3. Yesterday at my local grocery store, I saw a man hold the door for a wheel-chair bound woman and her caretaker. As the caretaker struggled to push the wheelchair and pull the very full grocery cart, he stepped in to offer to help them to their car. They refused his help, but he refused their refusal. I watched as he helped them get across the parking lot, and then load the groceries into their car.
4. I volunteer for Musicians on Call at a Chicago rehab hospital, and every time I am there, I’m in awe of the musicians who give their time and talent to help bring a little joy to the patients there. They sing until their voices give out, and play until their fingers are calloused. They are all in, every single time I’m there.
5. When I was at Jason Aldean’s Back to the Bar show in April, I was standing behind a very tall man. I’m 5’6,” and I’m guessing he was about 6’ tall. He apologized profusely for his height, and then right before the concert started, he insisted we switch spots so I could stand in front of him.
6. In mid-April, on the one-year anniversary of my big sister’s death, I happened to be in California at a Trader Joe’s. (Cleary, I spend a lot of time in grocery stores.) I was crying a little when I got to the check-out line, and the woman in front of me asked if I was OK. I told her the abbreviated version of events—-that my sister had died but that she’d been blessed to live so many years because of the lung transplants she’d had—-and the woman was visibly moved. “My daughter died six years ago. And we donated all of her organs,” she told me. I’m still not over this.
7. Bryan’s song has a line about how you never get a second chance to make new old friends. And here’s proof of that: I met my best friend in 2nd grade, and we are still the best of friends to this day. So much so, that she bought a vintage 1969 Airstream so we’d have a place to stay at the Faster Horses Festival in Brooklyn, Mich. last summer.
8. In the middle of the long, brutal and seemingly endless winter we had in the Midwest, I was out walking my dog and noticed my neighbor giving our mailman a hot cup of coffee in a to-go cup. When the mailman got to my house, I asked him about it. “Oh, that? She does that every day,” he said.
9. I go to Panera about once a month with a friend, and she always gets her sandwich with the apple and the extra slice of bread. But she only eats the sandwich. One day, she drove us there when my car wouldn’t start, and when we left, she gave her apple and bread to a homeless veteran who sits outside the restaurant’s parking lot. I’d probably seen him there a hundred times and did nothing. She said she’s been giving him food every month for more than a year.
See? Good people are everywhere. If you see any proof of that, tell us all about it. Tag @cmt and use the hashtag #MostPeopleAreGood.