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I’ve been jotting down some of the more beautiful things and some of the more ugly things I’ve seen happen the past three or four weeks. Every day I am reminded of just how wonderful many strangers are around me. I am given examples that I am able to learn from and live up to. I’m also reminded just how far we have to go.

Husband and daughter, shared on the Facebook wall by Moxie DePaulitte

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a good man tenderly kiss his son as he dropped him off for preschool. I watched the child embrace his father as the protector and friend whom he obviously was.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I heard another man yell at his child, telling him that if he doesn’t get buckled faster he was going to “get an ass whooping”.

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a good woman patiently talk to her screaming child. I saw firmness mixed with love. I saw understanding. She took into account her child’s feelings. She effectively put an end to her child’s tantrum.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I saw a woman drop the F-bomb to a child that couldn’t have been older than six.

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a good woman dancing and singing while she drove down the road. Her kids were waving their arms and singing behind her.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I saw a man smoking in his car. There was a child strapped into a car seat behind him.

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a good kid give quarters to my son and to my nephews so that they could buy bouncy balls. He’d never met them before, and he literally jumped with excitement as they turned the knob on the dispenser. He was only 11 or so.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I went black Friday shopping and somebody pick-pocketed the wallet from my friend’s purse.

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw an old couple who had to be in their late 80s walking hand in hand. I saw him sneak a peek at her and smile because just seeing her obviously made him happy.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I saw a lady literally slam her salad plate down and declare to her husband how much she hated the restaurant. The crisis? They were out of croutons.

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a man sneak up on his wife who was standing in line to buy movie tickets. He kissed her on the cheek and pulled her close to him.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I saw a man grab his kid by the collar and drag him back to his seat, scolding him as he did so.

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a sister consoling her kid brother about something, and telling him that everything would be okay.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I overheard an older teenage girl telling her friends that she didn’t want her sister around because she was “a loser”.

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a woman offer the last shopping cart to another woman. The other woman had several kids in tow.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I watched as a man turned red because the lady in front of him had more than 20 items in her cart. He pushed his cart to the side and marched out of the store.

MADE ME HAPPY: The waitress at Olive Garden brought me some extra Andes mints.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: A different waitress at Olive Garden told me that I had hit the limit for cheese on my pasta.

MADE ME HAPPY: I spent an entire day with Noah not working. We played, we built forts, we watched movies, and we danced. At one point Noah gave me an unexpected Bear Hug and told me that I was his best buddy. It was a great day.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I spent the better part of a day ignoring Noah, putting him in front of the television, or asking him to go play in his bedroom. He finally looked at me and said, “Dad, why are you not happy today?”

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing Observing

PS. Using this same format (just for fun), what are some of the beautiful things you’ve seen lately, and what are some of the things that need a little improvement?

Oh, and if you want to do something super awesome for me, will you click here and go vote for Single Dad Laughing on Babble? I was nominated for “best of” and I’d sure appreciate if you had 20 seconds to spare. It could introduce a lot of great parents to Single Dad Laughing. One quick click and you’re out of there.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!