A Silver Lining

Never underestimate the power of a kind deed.

I remember when illness struck my family, all the neighbors -- and I mean all the neighbors -- got together and cooked meals for us. Each day a different meal, from a different neighbor -- even neighbors we didn't know!

It was amazing and it went on for months. To this day, I've never forgotten their kindness or their generosity. I hope and suspect some in Iran might be getting that feeling today.

Its erstwhile enemy, the United States, has already rushed 75 tons of medical supplies and hundreds of search and rescue and medical personnel to the earthquake ravaged town of Bam (search).

Aid from the U.S. alone dwarfs that of the nearly 40 other countries that have done so... combined! I hope something good comes of this and leave it to the Financial Times’ Christopher Caldwell to conclude it just might.

Stranger things have happened.

Remember an August 1999 earthquake in Turkey that prompted no less than archenemy Greece to offer massive aid. Turkey responded to this act of charity when Athens was struck by an earthquake just three weeks later. The two countries have since signed a peace deal over Cyprus.

Some Iranian officials were quick to point out these were not politicians helping out, but doctors and emergency workers. But as The New York Times noted, it was the White House that sent out these doctors and emergency workers.

It's too early to say what good can come of this good. There is much to distrust. Some in power we know. Some we don't know. Many who don't want to know.

But we didn't know all those tens of thousands who died in that earthquake either. We just wanted to help. And this time Iran was open to letting us help.

Like the neighbors I didn't know and the friends I didn't appreciate.

Sometimes good things come of bad events. Sometimes when you least expect it.

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