On December 29, 2017, the New York Times reported that the 2017 story that garnered the most likes, shares, and comments was not about all the awful, creepy, nasty, really bad stuff that happened over the previous year. It was a story about Harvey and Irma Schluter, a wonderful, civilized, quiet couple who celebrated their seventy-fifth anniversary in Spokane, Washington.

Irma and Harvey are terrific representatives and models for Our Better Angels. At OBA we believe that most people, most of the time, under favorable conditions, are reasonably intelligent, cooperative, and willing to work for people and causes they care about. Psychologists have demonstrated this beyond doubt over the last 75 years, but some folks who hope to manipulate and exploit others through fear, anger, ignorance, or greed make a habit of undermining faith in the human spirit.

Irma is 93 and Harvey is 104, so nobody can dismiss them as naïve idealists. In the Times article, Irma is quoted as saying, “If you can help someone, then help them.” At OBA, we try to help people help people.

Here’s to Irma and Harvey and all the Better Angels of the human spirit for 2018. You can read the rest of their story here.