It was a good week.
We celebrated Independence week by watching an old-time parade, witnessing a Change of Command ceremony, spending some time at the beach, and visiting the zoo to see the exotic animals living there.
During the drive home I found myself contemplating the most exotic and unique animal of all – the amazing, over-achieving one called man.
While we were at the beach we saw an aircraft carrier enter port, and couldn’t help but think of the thousands of Sailors who work together each day to accomplish its mission. We watched hundreds of smiling parade participants as they represented their respective service organizations, each one dedicated to helping or protecting others. We marveled at the sophistication of the zoo, allowing thousands of visitors to see animals from around the world up close and in their natural habitats, and could not help but think about the efforts involved to make that possible. The Change of Command went off flawlessly, the result of hours of planning and preparation. We drove over massive bridges and on complex freeways – the product of high level engineering and construction – that stretch across the country from horizon to horizon. I could track my exact location anywhere along the way, using nothing more than my phone.
Toward the end of our journey home, we encountered two grass fires that required all vehicles to divert off the freeway onto back roads. Each intersection was manned by a volunteer who stood in the hundred-plus heat to direct us away from danger. A few miles away 250 firefighters were working in extreme conditions to corral the fires, which they accomplished the next day. All of that was organized and put in motion within a few hours.
How often do we take for granted the amazing accomplishments of humankind, favoring instead to focus what is dysfunctional? Each day brings with it evidence of the amazing achievements and efficiencies of man. In a world that seems to prefer the bad news, it is refreshing to focus on the good every so often. And when you do, you realize there is a lot more good than bad out there.