Unless the evening news is playing on a television in another room, I typically refuse to watch or listen to it due to the mere fact that it is just too depressing to handle in today’s society. My heart breaks, hearing the countless stories of burglaries, drunken driving incidents, neighbor disputes and kidnappings.

The few times I do watch the news, I am left with a disgusted feeling in the pit of my stomach, and the question of what is wrong with people these days becomes front and center in my mind.

Anymore, these days it seems like the humanity and decency of people is not what it used to be when my grandparents were growing up in the 1930s.

Now, I’m not completely naive. I realize this was quite a long time ago, and things are bound to change, but I really don’t think it’s too much to ask for someone to apologize when they bump into you at a store instead of shooting icy stares at your.

However, a recent experience restored some of my faith in the ability of humankind to treat others fairly. My mom, Carla, son, Graham, and daughter, Addyson, and I were headed to Peru, Ind., so Addy could compete in a circus-themed pageant.

Quick disclaimer here: I know that not everybody believes in the idea of beauty pageants, but my daughter has had a blast in the four she has done so far, and we have met some amazing people.

When we were driving on the interstate through Kokomo, my mom started mentioning that she thought the van was pulling toward one side of the road. But we didn’t think anymore about it until we stopped at a McDonald’s in Peru to get the kids some lunch, before we headed not more than a mile to the location of the pageant.

But a closer look at the van showed a completely-flat right tire. Before I had time to freak out and panic about being late for the pageant, a family that lived in Peru pulled into the parking spot next to us, and upon further investigation, we learned from them that there were not any tire stores around the community that were open on a Sunday or a taxi service that could take Addy and I to her pageant.

Once again, before the onset of panic could take over, the mother and grandmother of the family that pulled in next to us piped up and said that if we wanted, they would be happy to take me to the pageant to make sure my daughter got there in time to compete.

I was hesitant about riding with someone I had known less than 10 minutes, but it seemed God had sent them to be my guardian angels because not only had the family’s church sermon that morning been about helping others in the community and lending a hand, the sweet lady even helped me carry in all of Addy’s pageant boxes and outfits. She also made sure that I was settled and didn’t need anything else before she left.

While I was experiencing the random kindness of strangers, my mom also was having a similar experience back at the McDonald’s parking lot after discovering the roadside assistance service had been taken off our cell phone plan.

Not one, but two families stopped to help my mom get the flat tire off, the doughnut on and jump the battery since it had drained during the time it took to get the tire changed.

When my mom finally arrived to Addy’s pageant — and in time to see her win the title of Miss Kutie Supreme — I could hardly believe the kindness and all the caring hearts of the individuals that stopped to help out my mom and I.

Even though I still know a lot of hate exists in the world, it’s nice to have experienced firsthand the love that some people still have for helping others and knowing that one is doing the right thing.