These days the simple act of picking up and reading the daily newspaper can be distressing. The headlines blare with all the dysfunction, disorder, and violence that has occurred since only yesterday. Some days I just avoid it altogether.
But today I bravely unfolded my Chicago Tribune and found, to my delight, two wonderful stories on pages two and three of the paper.
The first was told by Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens, about a young boy on the autism spectrum who was having difficulty facing the last day of school. When the boy’s teacher found out his parents couldn’t get him to budge to make the short walk to school, she got involved by FaceTiming him to persuade him. Ultimately, the school principal himself agreed to walk down to the boy’s house and escort him for his last day. The boy was so excited by his VIP escort, and the two chatted amiably all the way.
In other news, the city of Chicago was saved from evil by a new superhero, Galacto, who is really a young boy battling a rare immune system disorder. The real superheroes at Make-a-Wish Foundation – along with Chicago police and firefighters, the mayor, and the costume designers at Columbia College – had made this dream come true for a young boy with an uncertain future.
These heartwarming stories made my day. And it’s only 8 am! It’s great to be reminded that there are so many courageous, generous, and kind people in the world whose only goal is to help others. The school principal, Jonathan Ellwanger, who is one year shy of retirement, said, “For all of us, little things are big things. This is a little thing, but it’s what we do and, hopefully, describes what we are trying to be about as a school.” (Heidi Stevens, “Principal helps 1st-grader with autism face last day of school,” Chicago Tribune, Monday, June 10, 2019) I want to work for that guy!
Here’s to those who are trying to make the world a better place, in large ways and small. They are my superheroes.