Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rogues and the Rest of Us


In 2012, I called out several rogues. Such a vitriolic election year brought to my attention several citizens who did not, in my opinion, seem to care about the good of the nation. Instead they were self-serving, irresponsible, and mislead or uninformed. Today I celebrate everyone else:

·      Parents who put down their cell phones, iPads, and remotes to sit with their children as they do homework. These parents listen, guide, mentor, and encourage. They are leading the next generation.
·      Employees who refuse to wield rules and regulations like a sword. They understand when a customer forgets. They find ways to make one phone call or in-store visit sufficient. Their voices are calm, their sense of responsibility keen.
·      First Responders who push against the tide of those who flee. They swim into harm’s way, and they carry us to safety. They also carry us in their hearts forever--a heavy burden.
·      Teachers who believe in every child. They look beyond the moment to see a capable adult pursuing his dreams, and they create lessons to last a lifetime.
·      Clerks and cashiers who simply wish to be of service. They ask little of us except, perhaps, an acknowledgement as they follow-through on their training requiring them to greet us and ask if we found everything we need. They also bid us farewell, sending us away with good intentions. Such blessings were once thought precious; now we often take them for granted.
·      Civil servants who care enough to represent their cities, counties, states, and nations well. They know that tourists and residents often judge a place by their actions, and they take pride in earning the good favor of others.
·      Kids who do the right thing even when they don’t know why. They trust the messages they’ve heard and read: that a good education will empower them, that abiding rather than breaking the law will draw respect, that kindness is the surest path to long-lasting relationships.
·      Athletes, celebrities, and flashes-in-the-pan who know that fame is ephemeral. They value hard work instead, trusting it to bring more opportunities to them. They also know that they must be worthy if and when Fame focuses attention upon them.
·      Faithful citizens who are not slaves to dogma. They believe in higher law, spiritual principles, and multiple paths to self-actualization. Most important, they do not insist that you make your way upon the path they've chosen.

Let us find ourselves among those who deserve our acclaim. Let us restrain the rogue within as we grow in generosity and forgiveness.