The Best in Humanity

Jan Fowler

is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.

The Best in Humanity

By Jan Fowler

While the COVID-19 outbreak has brought about a very scary era in the history of our world, it has also brought out the best in humanity in surprisingly unexpected ways.  Looking back over recent months, people continue to talk about the unselfish outreach and countless acts of kindness which they received from people whom they’ve never met before.

I am reminded of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams who wrote those now-famous lines, Whoever you are, I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers for Blanche DuBois, his central character in A Streetcar Named Desire.

To be sure, in today’s world there are many acts of kindness that we will probably never know about as strangers unified to take care of each other.  Neighborhood groups came together to help each other out wherever needed and are still giving to others in unselfish ways. For example, some families continue to bake banana bread, cupcakes, and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to put into lunch bags with apples and water to distribute around town to people who are hungry.

And according to The Daily Meal, the manager of an Arkansas steakhouse received a whopping surprise this past April when he discovered that after one couple had picked up their order, they passed on their $1200 stimulus check as their tip!

Musicians hosted live music series on street corners just to cheer up people who needed a lift, veterans of the Iraq war helped stitch and trim face masks for members of the community, and well established running clubs ran errands for people quarantined at home who needed someone to bring them necessary essentials.

Catering companies fed the homeless, neighborhood residents left water and non-perishables in Little Free Library stands, and hundreds of applications were filed by animal lovers at animal shelters to help provide care for pets in need of homes.

Communities stepped up to offer assistance to those in need by donating to local food banks and pantries.  And public school districts found ways to prepare and distribute food to children who normally received free lunches when in school.

And how about the many breathtaking flyovers which took place nationwide to honor frontline healthcare workers and pay tribute to first responders?  Even Starbucks offered free coffee to show appreciation to frontline workers.

Men and women confined to lockdown in senior living facilities were serenaded by family and friends who sang and performed tunes on instruments outside the windows where the seniors could hear and see their smiling faces.

Yes, there continues to be an outpouring of love and concern for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And if any of us are feeling isolated at home during this pandemic, we are advised to try to keep up a regular schedule and routine as much as possible to help ward off feelings of loneliness.  Experts tell us that it helps to begin each morning with a plan and short list of simple goals for the day.

I personally am trying to keep a daily log with brief entries as to what I actually did with my time.  One day this upheaval in our lives will surely come to an end.  When that day comes, I want something to remind me that there was actually a season in my life when I had too much time on my hands!

[Jan Fowler is an award-winning columnist and author and may be reached via her website,]

July 4th commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.  The Congress had voted in favour of independence from Great Britain on July 2 but did not actually complete the process of revising the Declaration of Independence until two days later.  The document was written by Thomas Jefferson in consultation with John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston.

Juneteenth, July 19, 1863 is the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. It wasn’t until 1866 that celebrations began.  It became a state holiday in Texas in 1980.

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