Friday, December 10, 2010

finding the good.

you tell them-we've all got meanness in us, but we've got goodness too. and the only thing worth living for is the good.
-where the heart is

while leaving the post office yesterday, i walked behind a woman. she in her navy slacks and blazer. me in my peacoat and scarf. my steps matched hers on the cold cement floor, both of us making a racket in our high heels, like angry ladybugs flickering over a light bulb.

and i knew she saw me. felt my presence behind her, as much as i felt the presence of the man behind me, walking slower than us, falling a few steps behind.

so it came as a surprise when she opened the door and let its heavy weight sling back in my face, not pausing or looking behind her. talking on her cell phone and hurrying to her sedan. in her defense, perhaps i'm wrong and she didn't see me, in which case my emotions were totally unmerited. but in that moment, with my lunch hour almost over and my chilly hands stuffed into my pockets, i felt my heart sink. i backed away quickly enough to avoid any impact. but what an impact it made.

i turned and held the door for the man behind me and was rewarded with his gentle half-smile. he was older, much older and was taking his time getting to his car. i waited while he shuffled to the exit.

and i realized that humans are humans. we make mistakes. we are forgetful, jealous, rude and unkind at times. but we're good too. and like natalie portman so beautiful narrarates to ashley judd, that's the only part that's worth anything at all.

so yesterday evening, while christmas shopping with robert, i looked for it. the good, that is.

and i found it.

in the bald man ringing the salvation army bell outside the grocery store, wind rippling at his jeans. in his smile and friendly "have a blessed day."

in the sweet woman behind the sushi counter who giggled when i said we didn't know how to use chopsticks. the way she piled extra forks and knives on our plates as if to make up for our lack of skills.

in the store clerk passing out fresh cranberry oatmeal cookies while we shopped. in her unassuming red sweater and black slacks, begging us to try one, explaining how they were freshly baked.

in my kind neighbor. paralyzed from the waist down and lying in bed for two years. her overwhelming gratitude for my notary services. talking about the importance of coupons, sharing the love of Christ with me through her eyes.

in my mama, greeting me this evening with more brightly colored tights and a new oreo dessert. making her home a place i want to come back to, again and again.

there's so much good--so much beauty--in this world, that i sometimes don't know what to do with it all. so i do what i can. i gather it up and spread it. some of it i keep in my heart for times like today. when people slam the door in my face. when people disappoint and hurt me, or worse-when i hurt others. it's my own little cushion from life's hard blows.

it's just that simple. trust in the kindness of people. there are certainly some rotten ones out there, but unlike apples, a few can't spoil the bunch. because the bunch is inheritently, totally,




Thisisme said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. Your writing is so beautiful and, yes, we must always try to hang on to the goodness around us, and not concentrate on the bad. Good Post! Thank you.

Jude said...

It is not always easy to remember, especially when the bad happens, but it is a huge and beautiful truth - there is *always* something positive to be found out there somewhere. I love the idea of gathering and spreading it - thank you for this lovely post on a Friday, dear!

Christi said...

I now look forward to reading your blog every day. You truly are an amazing, gifted writer. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and continuing to remind me to enjoy the beautiful simplicities of life, something I certainly long to do.

Blondie's Journal said...

This put a lump in my throat. Is it crazy, sometimes I take it personally when someone treats me rudely, as if I deserve it in some way. But I think I can see past that, thanks to your post.


Bossy Betty said...

Thank you for this lovely post! I needed it today!

Just found your blog. It's a great one!

Nicole said...

AWWW, I love this post! You're so right! Though there is bad, there is so much good in the world too! It's found in the people that DO hold doors open for others, those that truly believe smiles are contagious, and those who sacrifice their time to help people they may never know!

Ana* said...

Thanks for reminding me we are humans and the good and the bad are just part of our nature. I tend to forget this.


Seams Inspired said...

Sweetie...this is as good as 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.' It needs to be published beyond your beautiful blog. I'm happy to follow you, and so look forward to reading all your posts. Happy Friday, my new bloggy friend! :o)

Amy said...

I adore this post. It made my heart flutter. I always love the endearing smile of the sweet elderly woman that I open the door for and when I stop my car on the street to allow someone to cross. It's just too cold outside to be cold hearted. Love to you darling.

lindsay said...

hello beautiful lady...thank you so much for bringing such wonderful thoughts and inspiration every day. your space is such a happy place for me and i just love everything about it...thank you for that ♥

i love that picture as's message is so true!

Tamara said...

my first visit to vintch.
cheers to the little simple things
that are so easy to over look
but make us smile if we notice!!

Victory Garden Yarn said...

Ah that was lovely. People really do forget themselves and their manners during the holiday season. They need to read your post!

I especially enjoy that last little quote on the window. I seem to remember it in a wonderful little song... :D

Shalyn said...

This made me so so happy! Sometimes I feel like this world has SO much bad...sometimes I don't even think I want to bring kids into it. But then, sweet people remind me that there is indeed some good left! Thanks so much for writing this.

Haley K said...

Beautifully said Courtney. If we want, there are plenty of not-so-good things in the world that can put a rainy day on the biggest & best parade. But truly, there's so much more good in the world. Especially with people like you <3

PS - what was the new oreo dessert your sweet mom made? :)

Candice said...

I really enjoyed this post! It's so true; we can find the good in all things if we decide to look for it. The bad is sometimes blatantly obvious, but the good is the quiet whisper amongst the chaos. I'm happy that you found so many beautiful moments in many places! :)

mskanorado said...

It can be so easy to hang on to the irritating or hurtful actions or behaviors of others...letting it cloud the good around us. But, when we open up the windows of our heart to see the good, it's unbelievable the amount of good that is unexpected that just pours in and we notice like never before! Love the post!

Michaela said...

You have a beautiful heart, my friend! I know it can be tough to be treated poorly and just plain frustrating when trying to understand why she just wouldn't hold the door. But you turned that not-so-good situation into a positive lesson for all--to find the good! Thank you for the sweet reminder. And I'm sure the man behind you was just overjoyed as you helped hold the door for him (: May you be blessed sweet girl

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I find I get teary much more often when I witness beauty and kindness than ugliness and despair. I think you got it right when you started looking for the good. Seek and ye shall find is so very very true, it's how you look more than what you are looking at.

Danielle said...

Hi : )
Beautiful blog!

very nice ♥

Lynn said...

what a testament to human spirit! i love this post and the way you write is such a harmonious experience. i believe in the concept of what you think about and focus on expanding; so the way you turned your attention to the good and then all you saw was that good is such a empowering message.

sometimes i've felt stuck in the trenches of ugly inside feelings and trying to shake them off can be hard. prayer really is the best wireless connection we've got and finding the blue skies is it's reward! thank you for writing this it has all my smiley neurons radiating. ♥

Amber Blue Bird said...

agreed, one bad apple shouldnt ruin the barrel. I always do my best to be the good that people love to see whether its holding a door or a simple thank you. I have come to realize that there are just some people who are so caught up in their own worlds that they forget about people. Treating others how you would want to be treated is such a simple concept but unfortunately not every one seems to live by it.

Oh and we do seem to have similar tastes in music (of course we would, we are both so cool and all :). Have you ever heard of First Aid Kit, you might like them.

{av} said...

wow. wow. wow.

that is all I have to say.

I struggle so much with some of the bite of New Englanders--with my midwestern upbringing, I can't always handle their bluntness. Thanks for helping me remember to keep the brighter things in mind!

looking forward to reading your future posts :) xoxo {av}

Ashley said...

Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by my blog....because it led me to your beautiful space. I am so in love with this post, and I am typing it through tears. You are pretty amazing.

I wish that I could write something as beautiful as this. It really puts things into perspective for me...right this moment. I truly thank you for that.

I look forward to reading much much more on your wonderful blog. xo

Cara-Mia said...

This was beautiful. Thank you.

Becca said...

I just so love your quiet, restful, slow, peaceful thoughts, Courtney.

wilybrunette said...

what a lovely, beautiful reminder. thank you for sharing. that goodness--that kindness is our humanity--and oh how i wish we'd let it show more often.

Emily said...

Loved this! Its always a good reminder that we should be extra kind to those who arent kind to us and how we can find always manage something good.

Connie said...

This is an awesome post! Enjoyed every line. Lovely writing!

Connie said...

*and obviously even lovelier meaning (:

nicole ...given said...

i love your header!

a whole lotta love said...

Its amazing that when we look for the good we see it. And when negative things do happen, if you are looking for the good, you will see the good in those 'negatives' too. Yesterday we got a flat tire, which was a definite negative... but then this nice guy stopped and helped us change it. Its true, only kindness matters - and beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places.

angie on maui said...

Hi there...I am new to your blog and only found you because I linked over from someone else's (I got lost in all the links so I can't remember from where). All it took was reading this one post before clicking "follow". I have been searching for new blogs to read and am drawn to those that inspire me or exude kindness and love. Check, check and check. :)

I look forward to learning more about you.


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