Extend a hand of kindness to someone this week


September 4, 2019

My Uncle Jack Williamson called himself a “desperate optimist.”

I always liked that term, that desire to keep a positive outlook even in grim circumstances.

The older I get, the more I relate.

Especially on weeks like this.

I write these columns a couple of days before they’re published each Wednesday.

As I am at the keyboard committing these words to paper, the communities of Odessa and Midland are mopping up crime scenes and starting to piece together lives that were shattered in incomprehensible acts of violence last weekend.

Hurricane Dorian has plowed a slow path of devastation through the Bahamas and is on its way to the Atlantic seaboard where the headlines will continue to be awful this week.

Divers are still in the water looking for survivors from that horrific boat fire off the coast of California that will likely have more than two dozen victims before this day is over.

By the time you see this column, there will, almost certainly, be more bad news.

And that is all the more reason I keep looking for “a bit of good news” every week to share with you, as I have for nearly eight years now.

I have to admit some days I feel a little more desperate and a little less optimistic.

But then I look at my long, long list of tales waiting to be told, and I flip through the hundreds of stories I’ve been privileged to share with you.

I remember the many smiles and hugs I saw and experienced at last week’s Roosevelt County Fair; the joy in faces of old friends seeing each other at the annual pioneer lunch; the sweetness in watching an older kid take a younger one by the hand for a walk to the midway.

The good news is there is no shortage of good news. I’ll be back next week with more. The “column ideas” notebook is overflowing.

If you took the time to read these words today, would you do me a favor? Extend a hand of kindness to someone. Offer a word of encouragement. Smile at a stranger.

You’ll be glad you did, and this old desperate optimist will be, too.

Betty Williamson is off to polish her rose-colored glasses. Reach her at:

[email protected]


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