A recent column in the Advocate by Cokie and Steve Roberts related stories of average Americans who were involved in community activities which showed the kindness, generosity and respect that is a hallmark of American life. It seemed as though the column was supposed to be an epiphany for most of their readers. It was not.

Although there are outliers who find ways to show the dark side of humanity, most of the people with whom I interact with every day try to do their best every day to treat others the way they would want to be treated. There are forces on both sides of the political aisle who try to divide us and use that to their advantage. They live in the “macro” world and try to convince us that there is extreme anger and distrust by one group against other groups.

Most of us live in the “micro” world. We react to people on a one-to-one basis. Witness the recent disaster relief and assistance provided in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Black and Hispanic first responders risked their lives for white and Asian people with no hesitation. White and black private citizens went into dark waters in the night to rescue blacks, Hispanics and Asians. Most of these people did not know each other before their unplanned meetings.

I suppose my main thought about the column is that those of us outside the bubbles of Washington, New York and L.A. have observed and participated in these daily interactions for a long time. This basic personal goodness of everyday Americans is indeed, as they said, the real importance and value of American society. It is just not news to us.

Steve Larson

retired

New Iberia