Brighten Your Corner

This is the 64th in a collection of newspaper ads written by Harry Gray, then CEO of United Technologies, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Here is the text from that ad.


Have you noticed the great difference between the people you meet?
Some are as sunshiny as a handful of forget-me-nots.
Others come on like frozen mackerel.
A cheery, comforting nurse can help make a hospital stay bearable.
An upbeat secretary makes visitors glad they came to see you.
Every corner of the world has its clouds, gripes, complainers, and pains in the neck – because many people have yet to learn that honey works better than vinegar.
You’re in control of your small corner of the world.
Brighten it…
You can.

This ad is particularly relevant in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shootings.

Even in the midst of such a tragedy, there were people and organizations who came to the aid and comfort of victims and their families.

Josh McGill, who had successfully escaped from the nightclub, noticed a man stumbling toward him, covered in blood. “Can you help me?” the man pleaded. McGill searched the man’s body and quickly found two bullet wounds — one in each arm. He was able to control the bleeding using his own and the victim’s shirts. He then noticed that his back was bleeding, and asked a stranger for his shirt to help control that bleeding. When they finally found a policeman to take the victim to the hospital, the office told him to get in the car and that, “We will lay him on top of you, and you bear hug him,” the officer said. Keep him conscious, no matter what, McGill was told as they rushed off down the road. McGill held him as tightly as he could and offered words of encouragement. They made it to the hospital where the victim is now recovering.

There were multiple vigils throughout the Orlando area, in honor of the victims. Several hundred people communed on the shoreline of Lake Eola where they lit candles and left sunflowers near the Chinese pagoda and one musician played an original song to honor the victims. At Jones High School, just a few miles from Pulse, a vigil organized by the Experience Christian Center brought together seven pastors, all sharing in prayer, different denominations all coming together for a common cause. At Ember in downtown Orlando, crowd members on Sunday spontaneously broke out into clapping at the close of a twilight candlelight vigil. More than 200 people gathered at the popular gay nightclub Parliament House, where the members of the LGBT community declared “we’ve made unbelievable strides and we’re not going to let the haters stop us.” An overflow crowd at Orlando’s oldest predominantly gay church, Joy MCC, welcomed a shooting victim to its vigil at 6 p.m. and heard from about 20 ministers from diverse Christian churches across the state. Pastor Johnson of Iglesia El Calvario Church helped lead a congregation of more than 300 people made up of members of multiple religions at a service done in Spanish and English on Sunday night.

CAIR, the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, exhorted community members to donate blood for victims of the attack on Pulse, the club where the shooting took place. Florida Muslims also announced a fund drive at for victims of the rampage, which killed at least 50 people and injured dozens more at the nightclub.

Orlando blood banks were so overwhelmed by people wanting to donate blood to victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, OneBlood asked donors to stop coming Sunday and schedule appointments over the next few days.

The nonprofit Progress Florida has put together a summary of the variety of ways that friends and family of the mass nightclub shooting — and those who want to help them — can get information and offer aid.

I am sure as more is learned about the shootings, there will be more stories of those who helped to brighten their corner of the world by showing love and compassion for those who needed it the most.