One thing I’m always struck by is the generosity of friends, acquaintances, and outright strangers.

Yesterday I was out on a morning run (I actually did two days in a row; someone get Rex Smith on the horn and tell him we need an evening edition printed) when I was flagged down by someone that lived around the corner from me. He mentioned that he had talked to my next door neighbor and found out that my bike had been stolen off my porch two weeks ago. This man, whose only association with me is that his wife also works for RPI (but doesn’t work in the same part of campus as me let alone with me), said that he had a couple bikes and offered me one of them on the spot.

I was legitimately taken aback by the offer.

What’s more, I had to politely decline because my roommate had already given me one that he had: a bike that he and/or someone in his family easily could have sold for some decent change. Instead, without a thought, they offered it to me.

A month ago, someone ripped my bicycle off the railings of our front porch and carried it off with them. In the time since, through word of mouth, I have had nothing but offers of replacements that have reinforced a belief and outlook I’ve adopted in the last five years: that for every person that would deprive you of happiness, there are tenfold more that would step in to try to help in some manner.

One Christmas, before I was born, the presents my parents bought for their children were stolen out of their car. Then, in a scene ripped out of the cheesiest ABC Family made for television Christmas movie, friends and strangers that lived with us in the projects (a place called Griswold Heights) came together and surprised my parents with replacement gifts for all their kids.

Instances of generosity and kindness far outnumber those of selfishness. Unfortunately, it’s the latter that hits us the hardest. But if we allow ourselves to appreciate the other moments and give them equal weight and consideration, we’ll be surprised at how much good there really is in this world.

I’m seeing it, too, in the outpouring of support that all you readers have shown for Special Olympics of New York through my fundraising efforts for the Over the Edge event. I thank all who have given and all that will give in the coming weeks. If you haven’t yet, check out the page I put together: it explains what we’re doing, has a list of incentives for giving, and more. Even as little as $5 or $10 goes a long way towards providing services for the more than 47,000 differently abled athletes and their families.

So to Jackie’s husband, to my roommate, to my friends, to those folks in Griswold Heights (some of whom are no longer with us), and to all of you reading: on behalf of the human race, thank you for making us all a little richer.

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