Editor's Notebook: Kindness ranks as a great feat of nature

| March 2009

  • KC Compton

  • KC Compton

Sometimes the intersection of several stories in an issue of CAPPER’S leaves me shaking my head in wonder. In this issue, for instance, we have the tale of tiny songbirds, once believed to take several weeks to make their journey from the tropics to North America. Now, scientists have discovered that these little travelers cover that distance in an astonishingly short time, covering more than 300 miles a day on their migration.

Science recently has gotten a bad rap from some who see it in opposition to belief. My experience is that scientific research often only serves to deepen my wonder. I knew, theoretically, that songbirds migrated. However, I didn’t know they migrated thousands of miles in two weeks. And knowing that makes me, in the words of the hymn, “stand in awe.”

On the other end of the spectrum we have stories of the overwhelming power of natural forces – floods and fires and tornadoes – that barrel into our lives like freight trains, creating havoc and heartbreak in their path. Having seen a few tornadoes and the damage from a variety of disasters up close, I again am in complete awe of the sometimes terrible majesty of nature.

Living out in the country where I do, I manage to get outside for a walk at least once a day, rain or shine, snow or sun (although the colder it is, the briefer the walk, and the deeper my apologies to my pet pals). On almost every meander through the orchard or around the back 40, I find something too amazing for words.

One of the most amazing and awe-inspiring parts of the wonder equation is equally represented in this issue of CAPPER’S – the kindness and commitment human beings show in response to the need of others. As soon as the storm passes, the fire cools or the floods recede, people are there, helping other people whether they know them or not.

On my Awe and Amazement scale, this singularly human quality called “pitching in” ranks way at the tippy-top. Our collective future will call for more and more of it, and I’m glad it’s something CAPPER’S readers have honed to a fine art.

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