What makes humans decent and kind? Is it a big city vs. small town thing? Urban vs. rural? What makes us walk right past someone without even seeing them?
Sure, there are more people crammed together in urban areas, but there are also communities there and people in those communities who do see you, who will stop and help, who care beyond your, “I’m fine.”
Likewise, in rural areas, there is a strong rumor mill with plenty of judgement to go around. And if you don’t fit the mold or you maybe came from “somewhere else,” you may face that subtle “doesn’t belong” undercurrent.
In both places, you can find the most kind and decent folk. They will welcome you to sup with them, share all they have, and send you home with a little something for your next meal. They will look you in the eye and listen to what you have to say. They will see you for who you are and for who you can be. They will hear your goals and dreams and hold you accountable to them, but also encourage and help you along your path.
They will pray for you by name and in earnest. They will shine the light when you are in those dark places. They will smile when they see you on the street or in the store or out walking a long dirt road to nowhere. Do you see them?
My students have been writing about friendship, and one very wise young woman wrote that we hate in others what we wish we were in ourselves. Maybe if we just take a step back, we can be those kind and decent folk to others who just need to know they are seen.