Nancys avatarIs my weekly soapbox only about things that irk me? Of course not! I like sharing my thoughts about all the good I see in the world. It’s unfortunate that all the bad news gets the headlines, and we seldom hear how nice people are to each other. Since we are nearing Thanksgiving, although it should not be the only time we appreciate others, I am going to share with you some of the people who seem so nice, albeit I have never met them. They could be role models to everyone.

Johileny Meran Alamonte, 17, maintains a 94.7 average at Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn, New York, and is applying for scholarships to pursue her ambitions of college and medical school — despite having lived in a homeless shelter for the last four years, losing her mom to cancer and suffering from cerebral palsy. Her goal is to specialize in pediatric cancer and make her mom proud. How would most of us fare in this situation?

Berta Davidovitz-Rubinszejn, 92 years old and now living in the Bronx, helped rescue Jews from Germany-occupied Hungary during World War II. Berta put her own life in harm’s way to help others. She was recently reunited with a man, now 79, who at the age of 7, was saved by Berta. She said, “What I did is what everyone should do.” Doing things for others without expecting recognition gives a great feeling of self-worth, in my humble opinion.

Americans are well-known for giving to charities and helping others who have been victims of tragedies, but they don’t seem to help the person in their own backyard. Being honest, thoughtful and caring are the greatest gifts a person can give.

Remember it’s not the amount, it’s the thought that counts.

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Reprinted in part from NY News