The internet, I think, so often gets a bad reputation. People talk about porn and online gaming and stalkers and the lack of socialization so often that we forget sometimes that there are good things that happen, too.

One of my favorite "good things" about the internet is that it reminds me, often, how wonderful and truly generous people can be.

Recently, Michael of Forgotten Bookmarks decided to do a book care package giveaway, and asked his readers to nominate someone who was having a tough time. I nominated one of my students (whose story, even in the watered-down, anonymous version I emailed to Michael, is personal enough that I won't share it here). Suffice to say that "tough time" is an understatement, and I've been doing my best to help this student survive it.

Michael sent me an email back, saying that of all the stories he received, the one about my student stuck to him the most, so he would be sending the handmade journal and the care package. In his follow up post he talked about how hearing these stories had changed him, and how he planned on trying to get a package out to everyone who sent him a story.

The experience has changed me, a bit, too. It's a very generous thing he's doing; I can't even begin to comprehend how much such an endeavor will cost him in books and time and shipping (although other readers have offered to donate to help him with shipping costs, which speaks well of his community of followers, too). I forget, sometimes, in the midst of our budget cuts and wars and crime, that there are people out there like Michael; there are whole communities of strangers who are willing to help brighten someone's day, even for a moment.

I don't know that that level, that concentration, of generosity between strangers has ever had such an easy forum as the internet. This is one example, and perhaps the biggest I've experienced, but there are many more; and each time it happens, my faith in humanity is resuscitated just a little bit.

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