Wednesday, December 25, 2013
It’s a miracle Santa Claus was able to deliver his presents after back-to-back storm systems wreaked havoc across the country. If it weren't for his steadfast determination, driven by a purpose, which was to bring joy to the millions of children, there might not have been a Christmas. Mr. Claus exhibited classic character traits: he is reliable, devoted and considerate. Each of us has our own set of character traits. Most people possess honorable traits such as patience, sincerity and optimism. However, it seems these traits are being abandoned in light of a disturbing trend. Good is a sign of weakness: bad makes you famous. Respect is fading faster than the color on cheap vinyl siding. How often do you see a young person holding the door for a woman? How often have I driven around people who for some reason believe its ok to stand in the middle of the road or a parking lot? For goodness sake, don't honk your horn at them unless you're ready to receive their wrath. What seems to be frighteningly apparent is that there are people out there who invite confrontation. In fact, some youth have replaced compassion with cruelty. A deadly pastime called the Knockout Game is gaining popularity. What would possess a young man to sucker-punch a total stranger, while his friends video tape the incident? There have been several deaths in connection to this macabre sport that is played out on YouTube for the world to see. YouTube is full of disturbing videos capturing the bully praying on the weak. And if you look at the "hits", (how often the video was viewed) you'll be amazed (and hopefully outraged) at how popular they are. I've lived in many cities across this beautiful country and have met many wonderful people. Where every place has its good and bad points, and Williamsburg County and its citizens have much to be proud of, it is home to a few who have mastered the art of malevolence. Their favorite form of attack is the anonymous letter. If they don't like someone they simply type a letter accusing them of every dirty, nasty, despicable thing they can dream up, make a thousand copies and scatter them like World War II propaganda fliers. I haven't heard of a single instance where the rancid gossip achieved its purpose. Rather, the rumormongers are creating a poisonous atmosphere that if continued to go unchecked will eventually suffocate the honest, charitable people working so hard to make Williamsburg a better place. Actions really do speak louder than words and what better time to resolve to put an end mean-spirited shenanigans than with the coming of the New Year. At midnight on December 31, the song Auld Lang Syne will be sung around the globe. I hope the song will resonate its true meaning by reminding us that humanity is a sacred gift; for without it we are lifeless.