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Where have courtesy, caring gone?

April 21, 2012 at 4 p.m.
Updated April 20, 2012 at 11:21 p.m.


I really miss the days right after 9/11. I realize that those were some dark and stressful days, but it brought this country back together. Nobody cared who was a Democrat or Republican. No one focused on materialistic things. People became caring, loving, nurturing human beings once again. People held doors, smiled often, helped their neighbors. There was hope and love in people's eyes. There is so much death and destruction going on in our world right now. People have forgotten how to show mercy, forgiveness and kindness. We read and watch the news every day. New mothers being gunned down in the street, babies being stolen, people running from cops and trying to cause as much harm and pain as possible.

What has happened to us? Bullying has become epidemic. I recently had a loved one tell me " bullying is just a part of growing up. Kids are supposed to be mean." I was so saddened to hear that comment. It made my stomach sick. Why is bullying OK? Why is it OK that adults and children belittle each other and make others feel insignificant and unworthy? We all have something to offer this world. We all have special gifts and talents that make us unique and individual. Why must people knock others down to feel superior?

What has happened to our Texas pride, to our national pride? Why can't we just appreciate others, their failures, successes and love them for who they are? We don't always have to agree, but we can just learn how to support rather than destroy. If someone doesn't see eye to eye with you, or support you in your trials and tribulations, just walk away. We do not have to keep letting people hurt us, nor do we need to hurt others.

We have loved ones dying suddenly or from terrible, debilitating diseases every day. We have children and elderly starving. We have abuse of beautiful creatures happening all across this country. Are we so caught up in our own drama that we can't reach out and profess our love for each other? Each moment talking or visiting with a loved one could very well be the last moment together. Why don't we try just appreciating where we are in our life right now and try to make the world just a little better while we are here? Why can't we utilize our precious moments so that we are actually building up our children, listening to the needs of both children and our elderly and helping our neighbors, friends and strangers in need?

If we could all just live by the motto of "we were not put on this earth to see through each other, but to see each other through," maybe fewer kids would be hurting, more people would feel loved and appreciated and this nation just might be great again. We have to stop focusing on ourselves and our trivial little pet peeves.

We only get one chance to leave a legacy. What is your legacy going to be? Why must there be a national tragedy to force us all to come together? Let's vow each day to leave the world a little better, a little more loving, a little more kind. What a wonderful world that could be. Quit getting caught up in all the small, petty things in life and focus on what matters. All this senseless killing, greed, bullying, pain and suffering just might ease and we can start smiling and find the hope, joy and fortitude that this great nation was built on. What a concept, "One Nation Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!"

Let's start our own revolution, one of love and appreciation for all of the others that live in our communities, our state and our country.

Let's do it now, before it's too late. We are not promised tomorrow, so we need to make a change today, while we still can.

Beckey Boyd Gooden is an ex special education teacher and supervisor. She was raised in Port Lavaca and has a masters in leadership. She is currently a Public relations and Development coordinator for Lighthouse 29112911 of the Golden Crescent area. Email her at bgooden@lighthouse2911.org.

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