houston astros parade

There may not be a place in America feeling more camaraderie right now than Houston. The city was whacked by Hurricane Harvey, leaving streets flooded, homes destroyed and civilians left to play hero. The Astros stepped up to provide a feel-good sports story, and when they won the World Series last week, an estimated 750,000 fans showed up for the parade.

Those good vibes might help explain the impressive feat of teamwork Houstonians pulled off at that celebration.

After a fan dropped a hat from a high level of a parking garage, dozens of others participated in, and cheered for, a highly skilled recovery process. Stranger after stranger tossed the hat up into the waiting arms of another, until it finally reached it owner. Every once in a while the hat fell, but someone was always there to catch it. The whole thing is oddly inspirational:

Yes, this is ultimately trivial and meaningless. If the hat had never gotten back to its owner, the world be hardly any worse off. And yet it’s hard not to cheer every time the hat ascends another level of the garage and gasp whenever it falls. It’s as if the entire city’s future is at stake.

Next time you think that human beings are purely self-interested out only to benefit themselves, think back to this video and remember that community spirit, at least on some small scale, is alive and well.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.