I apologize for the length of this, but wanted to share with you something wonderful that happened to me this morning. It's Christmas Eve, and we had forgotten to purchase several small items for tomorrow's dinner, so I headed to Kroger at 6:50 am to get the groceries before the rush.

I was walking through the surprisingly busy parking lot, bundled up against the cold and mist of a gloomy morning, and very foolishly attempted to don my face mask without removing my gloves. The elastic bands tend to get snagged in my hearing aids, but not usually until I try to remove the mask. This time, with gloves on, I managed to dislodge one of the hearing aids while still in the parking lot, right in front of the entrance to the store with cars and people trying to be first into the store

I frantically began my search, looking down in the gloom, and having no luck seeing it, and not really certain what radius I needed to search, but afraid to stray too far from where I stood, in the middle of the main traffic lane in front of the entrance.

At least 7 or 8 people walked past me without even looking at me, and I listened intently for a "crunch" with every passing footstep.

After several long moments, a young black man (I happen to be white) called to me from 20 or 25 feet away, asking what I was looking for.

I gasped that it was a hearing aid, and he came straight over to me to look at the other one, so that he knew what he was looking for. He began to search several feet away from me, and one-by-one he attracted an additional 7 or 8 people of all ages and races who each looked at my remaining hearing aid and joined the search, effectively blocking the automotive traffic through the search area.

After what seemed like an hour, but could have only been 5 minutes or so, the first volunteer found the hearing aid, and returned it to me.

I was overcome with joy, and my small search party was joyful as well, laughing through their face masks and congratulating me and the nice man who stopped to help an old white guy staring down at the ground.

I hope all of you encounter something this season that will remind you that the good people among us FAR outnumber the bad.