Wednesday, February 20, 2019


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Be That Person

            Five people were gunned down last week at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland last week.

            It was another example of how hate can fester and explode into an anger that a killer determined needed a violent response.

            The News Media Association issued the following statement regarding the deaths of five members of the newspaper's staff:

            "We are one family, and we mourn the senseless tragedy at the Capital Gazette together.  Our hearts grieve the loss of our fellow newspaper staffers.  We wish comfort and peace for their families, friends, co-workers and all who have been touched by this heartbreak – and healing to those who are recovering."

            Schools, churches, police stations, post offices, government buildings, and now a newspaper office is added to the list of targets of people with an evil itch and looking for a place to scratch it.

            But don't forget the streets of our major cities – they too are a killing field that most people tend to overlook or never bother to learn about.

            Communities that once stood shoulder-to-shoulder for the common good, despite their disagreements, have become so obsessed with their differences they've forgotten about what they agree with.  Hate has scuttled too many friendships, good ideas, and, if left unchecked, can lead to tragedy.  

            Our communities, like our country, are experiencing a divisiveness that many of us have never experienced in our lifetime.  Our communities, like our country, have become full of disunity, divisions, arrogance, and exclusive, tribal-like mentalities.   The mentality seems to create an atmosphere that becomes self-perpetuating - it's us against them.  The image of self-importance and a heightened sense of entitlement has created monsters among us and sometime in us.

            We all need to stop our obsessions with things we hate and figure out a better way to change them or work with them.  We need to treat each other as equals and ditch the condescension of others.     We need to end the social media skirmishes that stoke the fires of hate.

            We must bring back respect and courtesy for our family, friends, and neighbors.  We will never all agree – but we can understand and respect each other's opinion.  If you disagree with someone, sell your side of the argument – don't shove it down your adversary's throat.

            Wake up each morning thinking about how you can better yourself and your community.  Make a new friend, vow not to hate, promise to work and understand more and complain less, or just be a nicer person than you were yesterday – it will reap rewards by spreading to others.  Today, a better community; next week perhaps a better country.

            Yes it takes more than one person to make it happen, but it only takes one person to make it start. 

            Be that person.





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