Our world would be a much darker place without the selfless good Samaritans who go out of their way to help others
In today's Belfast Telegraph we publish two inspiring stories. One is about a nurse who went to the aid of an elderly woman taken ill on a flight. The other is about a graduate who went to help a homeless man being abused on a street and was attacked by others.
Debbie Wightman, a nurse at the Belfast City Hospital's cancer unit, was on a flight back from Las Vegas when a lady became seriously ill, and Debbie stayed with her throughout the flight to provide help. Without Debbie's assistance, there is no knowing what would have happened to the stricken woman.
In another incident, in Belfast, Gary McKendry went to help a homeless man who was being verbally abused by youths, but he was attacked by one of the thugs for intervening, suffering painful injuries and having his teeth knocked out of place. He is to be commended for showing such kindness and courage. It is no wonder that his relatives are so proud of him.
It is so heartening to realise that there are people out there like Gary and Debbie who do their civic duty.
Just as there were those people who taunted and abused a homeless man , there are also teams of people on our streets each night helping others.
There are also many groups who are carrying out charitable endeavours, including church groups and those who see their duty in helping others. This is part of what former Prime Minister David Cameron called the "big society", and these people are not often praised enough, although they do not seek plaudits.
What our world would be like if such people were not carrying out such good work? What would be the pressure on the State and its agencies, if all these hard-working and often under-appreciated volunteers withdrew their services?
This hardly bears thinking about, which is all the more reason why we should applaud Debbie Wightman, Gary McKendry and all the other good Samaritans in our midst.