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Warmest regards: What makes it a wonderful world?

Published February 02. 2019 06:46AM

By Pattie Mihalik

I have always liked the song “What a Wonderful World.”

The older I get, the more I find myself nodding in agreement at the sentiments expressed in the classic song.

As I do my early morning walk each day I hear the welcoming chorus of birds and look around to see palm trees swaying in the breeze and dozens of ibises digging for breakfast. The bucolic scene often brings to mind the words to that song.

Sometimes I find myself humming it as I am filled with the pleasures of another beautiful day.

The short, simple verses say so much:

“I see skies of blue and clouds of white, bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.

“And I think to myself what a wonderful world.”

Many of us do more than hear the words. We feel them too.

The irony to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” recording in 1967 is that the president of ABC Paramount Records hated the song and banned the company from putting any effort into promoting it.

Despite that, the recording first soared to popularity in Britain, reaching number 1 on the charts before working its way into the hearts of the American public.

It’s become one of the most uplifting, life-affirming songs of all time.

Few songs have the power to retain popularity through the decades as musical tastes change.

“What a Wonderful World” stays popular because of the truth behind its timeless message.

What a wonderful world.

The older I get, the more I keep acclaiming that truth.

In addition to the beauty of this world, I believe it’s a wonderful world because of the good people in it.

I often look around me in gratitude at the way so many people reach out to help others.

This week my friend Suze reinforced that belief on her Facebook page as she recounted the way strangers came together to help each other.

Suze is one those nice people willing to help others in any way she can.

When she saw on Facebook that a casual acquaintance posted a request for the use of a pontoon trailer, she immediately offered to lend them her trailer.

“In turn, they wanted to get me something as a show of their appreciation. I told them that was not necessary because that is the way we do things around here. We help one another,” Sue said.

When the couple learned Suze was totally exasperated with her inability to get her 2000 Kawasaki started, they told her they would be right over, even though it was late at night. She told them there was no rush because she was trying for months get the motorcycle started and one more night wouldn’t make a difference.

The grateful couple came right away, and they did get it started. They then took it for a ride and put it through all its gears to make sure it was working right.

“They have no idea how utterly delighted they made me. I had been wanting to ride that bike for such a long time. Motorcycles have been a significant part of my life for such a long time so it was a huge blow to me when couldn’t ride. I am thrilled to be back in the saddle!” Suze said.

She thinks the couple’s kindness illustrates the adage, What goes around, comes around.

I think it’s just one more example of people willing to help others.

A while back a handyman in our area was returning home from the supermarket with a full grocery order, including frozen food. When his old truck broke down, he had no idea how he could get home with his groceries.

He took a chance and went on our community Facebook page, asking if anyone would be willing to pick him up.

My friend Andy immediately answered in four words: “I’ll be there shortly.”

When a woman posted she needed help getting her paralyzed mother to a doctor’s appointment, a big guy didn’t worry about liability like some might. He just went to help.

That’s how it is around here. People respond whenever there is a need.

I think it’s like that in a lot of areas because people are basically good and they welcome the chance to help when they can.

When a woman posted on our community page that her sickly dog wandered off, she asked if anyone could help her look. Many joined a search party for several days until the dog was safely back with its owner.

Little acts of kindness might not seem like such a big deal. But all those little acts of kindness combine to make this a better place in which to live.

So come on. Believe!

Believe in the goodness of people who make this a wonderful world.

And, while you’re at it, sing along with me.

“The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky

“Are also on the faces of people going by,

“I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do,

“They’re really saying I love you.”

If you’re like me once you start thinking about the song, you might have a hard time getting that melody out of your head.

But that’s OK, because it’s always good if we can have a reminder that it really is a wonderful world.

Contact Pattie Mihalik at

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