I frequently receive emails from The Ripple readers, who report on good things they’ve witnessed in the world. Recently, Margaret from Edina, MN emailed with a story that I feel compelled to share with you—as you’ll see below, it again shows that humans of all ages have good empathetic hearts and when called upon, we will be compassionate as heck. Here is Margaret’s email, which I am sharing with her permission:

I wanted to share something with you that my family experienced this summer that is our favorite memory by far. 

We were at the Edina Aquatic center, and my two sons Johnny 8 and Max 6 were there, and we were all playing and doing things you do at the pool. My boys are working hard at learning new things like going off the high dive, flips etc.(and) swimming in the deep end.

I noticed that two men (2 handsome young men 16-21ish) were under the high dive, which is unusual and against the rules typically. Then I looked up and saw that their friend who happened to have Down Syndrome was on the high dive, just trembling, but clearly excited to try. It likely took 10 minutes for him to get up the courage to move to the end of the board.  During that time, I noticed a LONG line of kids forming at the diving board but never was there a "hurry up" uttered. I looked at the lifeguard... he also was clearly watching, but not bothered by how long it was taking or that the 2 friends were underneath the board for when the boy did jump, they would be right there to get him and keep him safe.  

It was likely 5 more minutes of the boy visibly working up the courage to jump, and the only thing you heard was.... "you got it, buddy, I am right here." I grabbed my two boys and told them to watch (what) was happening, and the whole time I just prayed that nobody would say something ugly or do something ugly.  Nothing happened... instead, I noticed and pointed out to my family that the ENTIRE pool was now watching, keeping quiet, and respectful, but faces full of hope, and then it happened. Some amazing 8 or 9-year-old boys yelled out "YOU CAN DO IT,” (and) that is all it took, the whole pool started cheering. 

The boy on the diving board looked up in delight, and I hope he felt safe and brave and celebrated. In just a few more seconds, he took a leap off the high dive and everyone clapped and continued to cheer. My boys ran up to him and gave him a high five. The joy and pride on his face was amazing and so well deserved. My husband (and I) just looked at each other and said, wow, things had changed from when we were kids, and that was amazing. 

I was proud of my own kids who know to celebrate and make space for others, but the entire pool which was likely 150 people also did the same thing. Edina does not always get the best press, but that day Edina crushed it!
Margaret, thank you for sharing this wonderful account of what happened at your city pool. Readers, please know that acts of compassion (and support/allyship/love) like this happen millions of times every day in this world of ours—we just don’t hear about them. We want to be good to each other and most of the time that’s exactly what happens!