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The Suburbanite
  • Charita Goshay: Kindnesses show us who we really are

  • Even in this season of hope, it can be tempting to give up on a world that often seems arbitrary, chaotic and unfair.

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  • Even in this season of hope, it can be tempting to give up on a world that often seems arbitrary, chaotic and unfair.
    On Dec. 8, vandals damaged the Hall family’s massive Christmas-light display in Chillicothe, a 30-year tradition that was a gift to their community.
    But someone destroyed it simply for the sport of it. As is so often the case nowadays, politics elbowed its way in when someone blowing a dog whistle blamed the “entitlement crowd” for the crime.
    Those who knew and loved Nate Baker, 14, of Perry Township, say he was a kind, positive and courageous boy. Given that the world needs as many great kids as it can get, did his life have to be cut short by cancer?
    Meanwhile, a perfectly healthy 19-year-old from Plain Township was arrested for his second alleged robbery charge in a week. In Canton, three other able-bodied teens are suspected of committing a string of armed robberies.
    10,000 CHARLIES
    In Portland, Ore., a hospice nurse and a youth-sports coach are dead simply because they chose to engage in that most American of activities: shopping at the mall. They were killed by someone they never met, for no reason that will ever matter to their loved ones.
    So were the 26 people slaughtered on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Twenty of them were children, who probably still believed in Santa and in the goodness of people. It marks the fourth mass shooting in this country in less than six months.
    It takes purpose and a Herculean strength of will for us to remember that the good people, the good things of this world, still far outnumber the tragedies and the sorrows that make no sense.
    We must work hard to keep in mind that for every person who views destroying someone else’s Christmas lights as “fun,” there are 10,000 people like Charlie Tubbs of Canton Township, who takes it upon himself to be Santa’s Helper for the sheer joy it gives to others.
    The teens who turned out en masse last week for a candlelight vigil for Nate Baker remind us that compassionate and caring adolescents are not an endangered species, regardless of what we sometimes wonder.
    We must hold fast to the belief that more often than not, the Christmas season showcases the best of who we are, though I’ll be the first to admit that it’s getting harder, almost by the hour.
    But if we don’t, we’re lost.
    THE NATURAL ORDER
    The fact is, the acts of kindness and generosity we notice at Christmas occur throughout the year.
    Even so, it’s easy to get distracted by those things that anger us. The reason the Scott Studers of the world make news is that they are aberrations.
    Page 2 of 2 - The more commonplace, natural order of things is that millions more adults go out of their way to ensure that children are safe and protected and see to it that they’re remembered not just at Christmas but all year around.
    That anything having to do with Studer lands above the fold on the front page, but people who do good deeds at Christmas often don’t, is not a new development; it has always been the nature of this business. But it doesn’t take away, not even an iota, from the message communicated by the largess of the latter: The good in this world still far outweighs the bad.?

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