It's easy to assume that we live in a scary, hateful world. Everyday the news is filled with stories that show the worst in humanity. It doesn't help that we barely connect with one another, living our days consumed with our needs and responsibilities.
This may be what we are led to believe, since our humanity is tested everyday of our lives. Whether it's the simple act of stopping your busy day to give someone directions, complementing someone out of the blue, or simply smiling to a complete stranger. These actions may appear trivial but they matter.
People may live in a fast-paced world but when someone needs help, the natural reaction folks have is not to hide but rather to assist, even if the individual or persons are complete strangers.
Beachgoers in Panama City Beach, Florida, were surprised just how strong the current was on Saturday, July 8, 2017.
Roberta Ursrey, her husband, two sons, mother, and nephews were enjoying their day at the beach. Ursrey left the water, assuming her sons, Noah, 11, and Stephen, 8, were close behind her.
She realized they were farther from shore. Worried, she walked down the beach.
When she heard their screams, she knew she had to swim back into the ocean. The boys had been pushed further out on the water while they were on their boogie boards.
"They were screaming and crying that they were stuck," Ursrey recalls
“People were saying, ‘Don’t go out there,'” she says. Despite the warnings and her fear, she dove right in along with the rest of the family.
"I honestly thought I was going to lose my family that day," 34-year-old Ursrey admits. "It was like, 'Oh God, this is how I’m going.'"
Unfortunately, the rip current took them further into the ocean as well. In total 10 people were trapped in 15 feet of water; four adults and two children from one family, and four additional swimmers trying to help.
Luckily, Jessica and Derek Simmons were walking along the beach when they saw people all looking into one direction.
“I automatically thought they had seen a shark,” Simmons told the Panama City News Herald. “I ran back to shore and my husband ran over to them. … That’s when I knew someone was drowning.”
Jessica Mae Simmons