Much of what we hear are stories of hatred or division, of harm to others or to ourselves. Yet, the instances of people being good to each other far outnumber those that hurt our hearts. Here are three examples of human kindness and compassion, each involving strangers.

Southwest Airlines has some pretty fantastic flight attendants—on more than one of my Southwest flights, I’ve been treated to songs or jokes by energetic flight attendants. Thus, a story about Southwest flight attendant Vicki Heath caught my attention; it involved a passenger, Tracy Sharp, a Sacramento woman who has Down Syndrome. The two had met on a Southwest flight several months ago, where Tracy confided that one of her lifelong dreams was to be a flight attendant.

Hearing this, Heath contacted Southwest management with a pitch—to have Tracy work alongside her as an assistant flight attendant. Southwest readily bought into the idea and in late August, Tracy got her wish, complete with a red uniform and the chance to greet passengers as they stepped onto the plane. Check out the story and a short video here. We’re reminded that sometimes compassion involves using one’s imagination (and making a phone call to top management).

Our second story , also about someone with Down Syndrome, comes from an Abilene, Texas IHOP where waitress Millie Young struck up a conversation with Dwayne Roach who was in the restaurant with his sister. As they spoke, Dwayne remarked how he liked Young’s nametag. Dwayne then shared that his name was actually, “Captain America.” Sometime later, as Dwayne and his sister were readying to leave the restaurant, Young appeared with an IHOP nametag that read, “Captain America,” which she pinned to Dwayne’s shirt. Sometimes it’s just the littlest things that make the biggest difference.

Finally, let me share about the power of human touch. Several weeks ago, Star Balloon-Bradley and her young nephew Isiah attended a high school football game in Valdosta, GA. For some unexplained reason, Isiah was drawn to a stranger, an older woman named, “Mrs. Angela,” and promptly sat on her lap. Two weeks later, Star and Isaiah were at another football game, and once again, Isiah saw Mrs. Angela. This time, as Star reported, Isaiah walked up to Mrs. Angela and “crawled in her lap and laid his head on her shoulder. She welcomed him with open arms,” and rocked him and patted his back “like [she] had given birth to him."

When Star asked if Isiah was a bother, Mrs. Angela replied that “moments like this are priceless.” Check out the pictures in this story and I’m sure you will agree. Again, little things.

Remember: we all have empathetic hearts. We simply need to give our hearts permission to show up.