Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

November 20, 2013

Good folks are still the majority in America


Nov. 20, 2013 — Our readers often tell us how discouraged they get sometimes when we and other news media run stories about crime and corruption and other bad things that happen in our society.

Of particular concern are the ugly things that misguided folks do to other human beings or to organizations that most of us hold in high esteem.

For example, no one is tolerant of a person who steals from a church or vandalizes a work of art or public or private property.

But it seems just about each time we believe the whole world has gone to the devil, we see or hear about acts of kindness and compassion that restore our faith in humanity, at least for the moment.

A World War II veteran struggles to his feet after being introduced at an elementary school Veterans Day program.

At that point, hundreds of students, staff, parents, and other veterans respond with a spontaneous, standing ovation. The old soldier makes no effort to hide his tears of appreciation.

Parents of modest means carry presents through a checkout lane at a large retail store, only to find that some unknown benefactor has picked up the tab because they remember the reason for the season.

Natural disasters strike nearby or half a world away and tens of thousands of ordinary citizens respond with millions of dollars in relief funds to provide food, water and emergency medical care.

A single parent falls ill and her co-workers step up with child care and home cooked meals to tide her family over to better times.

Community volunteers work for months to raise money to make sure that as many children as possible, regardless of family finances, will experience the joy of Christmas.

A widowed, elderly woman returns to her barren, lonely home to surprisingly and happily find it decorated with a tree and other reminders of holidays past.

Homeless persons with little or no hope find a clean bed, fresh clothes and hot food because total strangers believe such acts of charity truly are the Lord’s work.

E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one) is more than our nation’s motto.

It means that merging our diversity of cultures results in a set of shared human values that define us as Americans.

As we sit down next week with our families to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, our list of blessings should include those folks like us who constitute a majority reflecting the greatness of America by what we do for others.