Everyday Courage

I’ve been traveling a lot this week. Enough that it would have felt like a lot at any time, and more than enough to feel like a lot during these nervous times.

And while it was remarkable how many seats on the plane were empty yesterday, and how few people were at the airport, and how picked-over the shelves were at every pharmacy and grocery we tried, those weren’t ultimately the most interesting things I saw.

No: it was the pilot standing in the aisle to personally greet us before takeoff and wish us well on our ways after landing. It was the bus drivers, subway workers, and many retail employees who all showed up for work and carried out their duties — sometimes masked, sometimes gloved, but almost always with a smile to spare.

And yes, it was also the people in the planes, buses, trains, and stores who didn’t panic or pitch a fit when they couldn’t find what they wanted.

Civilization might be an awfully thin veneer, but humanity — and basic, everyday courage — also runs deep. Consider that.