The latest issue of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute spotlights the local heroes and helpers rising to challenges in the midst of the pandemic. “America at Its Best” features interviews and editorials from Former President George W. Bush, Mrs. Laura Bush, Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Major League Baseball Pitcher Clayton Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author Bob Goff and many others. 

The issue explores what kind of country America is at its core: a compassionate nation where neighbors help neighbors, where organizations and corporations assist those in need and where communities unite in the most troubling of times. Medical workers, first responders, community leaders, and everyday citizens share their stories and demonstrate how their commitment to kindness and courage propels them in times of crisis, reports Director of Communications for the Bush Institute and Editor of The Catalyst Brittney Bain.

In George W. Bush’s opening essay, the former President recognizes the nation’s present suffering, yet assures readers of the hope demonstrated by “extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion.” A notable passage from Bush’s piece says, “Empathy and simple kindness are essential, powerful tools of national recovery. Even at an appropriate social distance, we can find ways to be present in the lives of others — to ease their anxiety and share their burdens. Our differences are small in the face of this shared threat.”

Author of “Love Does” and “Everybody Always” Bob Goff’ wrote “Finding Hope and Availability.” In it, he explains how spreading kindness can spread hope without ever leaving your own neighborhood. Goff says, “We’ll find all the negativity we’re looking for, and we’ll find all the hope. But here’s the thing about hope. It’s way more powerful.”