Dear Abby: "Missing the Old Days in Arizona City" (May 8), the mother of a small child wondered how parents can feel safe raising kids in a world that is "crazy and scary." I, too, worry about the state of the world today, but find comfort in my children and in the fact that I am trying to raise them to be among the "good guys."

When I was a brand-new mom, I was in an elevator with two teenage boys. When the door opened, one of the boys stated to get off first. The other boy put his arm in front of his friend and motioned for me to go ahead. I was moved by his simple gesture of thoughtfulness and good manners. I thanked him and asked him to also thank his mother for me, for doing such a wonderful job raising such a polite young man. I promised myself that day that I would raise my children (I now have three) to be like him.

Please tell "Missing the Old Days" there is good everywhere. She just needs to look for it and to always acknowledge polite gestures so her children and others can see that there is still civility in this "scary place" we call home. —Margie in Reno, Nev.

Dear Margie: I like the way you think. As more people respond to each other with kindness, we create a more positive world in which to live, one good deed at a time. Read on:

Dear Abby: I am so tired of people talking about how civilization is falling apart. Human history is filled with senseless acts of violence that I am sure predate the written word. I think that because the media today are able to bring us violence from across the globe, it appears to be more prevalent.

You cannot live your life in fear of what might happen. You can only do your best to prevent bad things from happening to yourself and to others. Stand up and say "That's not right" when you see something "bad" happen. Only through our own actions can we change the world we live in. —Phillip in Battle Creek

Dear Abby: I, too, get discouraged by the negativity portrayed by the media. But I've found that volunteering is a great way to find renewed faith in humanity. Even if it's just an hour or two a month at a shelter or a local organization, it is uplifting to come together with others who are also trying to do good. —Willing to Help in Granite City, Ill.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

© Universal Press Syndicate