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Stop Watching, Start Seeing

 

Brenda Nail DeLauder Columnist

  The theory seems to be it’s not news unless it’s bad. Not only from the news media, but the continuing growth of “reality” TV shows, all searching for the best shock factor. The more horribly people act, the more recognition they gain. All of it can be depressing, yet it’s called “entertainment.”

  Wait a minute. Just because the news and reality shows highlight gore and horror, doesn’t mean that’s all there is to see. Good things, in all sizes and shapes, are happening everywhere. Perhaps if we stopped watching what they offer us, we could soon see a better selection of shows and news broadcasts. There will always be tragedies, sorrow and sadness, but if that’s all we hear about, then it takes our spirits down to the bottom of the well. No, we can’t bounce through life pretending nothing bad ever happens, but we can stop dwelling on it quite so much. For every darkness, we need a little light, a small bubble of joy, or simply a shared smile.

  On Christmas Day, three teenagers in our small church, left to meet up with others in North Carolina, who were heading to New Jersey. This group of youth wanted to do more than simply watch the news reports about the storm victims. They chose to go there to rip out water damaged walls, haul trash off, shovel out sand from houses, and paint. That’s how they chose to spend their Christmas vacation and I have no doubt they will come home rich in a sense of pride.

  It was a very windy day and shopping carts were rolling all over the hilly parking lot. In a flash I saw a teenager running after a cart, then another, corralling them into the buggy holder. I absolutely loved the response I was given when I thanked him for doing this task. He looked so shocked and said “I had to or they would have messed up lots of people’s cars.” It wasn’t because he was told to go get them, or paid to do it, but because he recognized the need to prevent harm to another’s property. He felt it was his responsibility to do so. I rounded the corner in the store when I saw a lady on a shopping scooter eyeing something on the top shelf. Before I could reach her, a group of giggling girls arrived first, not only reaching up for what she needed, but making the lady laugh. Again, when I thanked them, there was a look of surprise as they said “Well, sure!” It was their natural response to help another.

  There are countless acts of kindnesses done every day by many people, but most don’t usually make the news. I particularly enjoy learning of things our youth are doing. There are kids, not even teens yet, heading up major charity drives or finding ways to help the many homeless animals. There are great numbers of young people giving up their vacations and school breaks, to go help storm victims or lending a hand in troubled areas of the world. They will return home, without a doubt, richer in spirit for having done so.

  Maybe if we all spent less time tuning in to watch the sad and bad news, we could spend more time praying, then getting involved with helping others. Keep in mind, help can be giving to others in gifts, but it can also be small stuff like holding a door open, retrieving a dropped toy, or speaking kindly to a stranger. Each spark of joy we can offer another will spread, lifting the hearts of many. Christ is with us, so share Him!

 

  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.

 

 

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