Get Along, Go Along

And so it came to pass that in the land between oceans, men, women and children of all kinds forgot their differences and simply looked after one another.

It was surprisingly easy. That morning of September 18th, 2017, the sun rose and gently warmed the land to a comfy 65 degrees, a cool pleasant respite caused by natural variation on a warming planet. Millions awoke, stretched, and sipped coffee as they sat outside watching trees catch a gentle breeze.

Forty million cell phones called into work that Monday morning, reporting their owners as sick. The owners found the nearest strip of grass, reclined and contemplated the puffy white clouds amid an ethereal sea of sky.

Neighbors who hadn’t spoken since Election Day greeted each other over white picket fences. “Hate you, man,” Willie said smirking, with a glint in his eye as he high-fived Walt. “Back at you!” said Walt, playfully punching Willie’s shoulder.

Later that morning, Willie mowed Walt’s lawn. Walt walked Willie’s dog and even picked up after Fido. Similar scenes took place from sea to shining sea. But some people were very unhappy about it.

“Damn,” said the guy in the peaked white hood. “This is a very bad day.” None of his compatriots were available to attend the march scheduled outside the A.M.E. Church. They’d all called in sick. ALL of them!

A rogue police officer was getting ready to beat up an unarmed motorist who had switched lanes without signaling. He radioed for backup—and there was no answer. “I can’t take a chance,” said the officer to himself. “I fear for my life.” He grudgingly waved at the motorist to move along.

The thief brought his latest batch of stolen goods to the pawnbroker. “Where’d you get this banjo?” The pawnbroker asked. “Do you have a receipt for this?” Depressed, the thief left with the banjo. He bought strings and began to teach himself to play. What else could he do?

About 10% of the population was unaffected by the sudden kindness epidemic. Most became angry. Then confused. And then sullen.

But people are affected by the environment and the behavior of others. That why advertising work. And why xenophobia and war propaganda works.

And also why an outbreak of kindness works.