I take as my guide, the hope of a saint:
in crucial things, unity,
in important things, diversity,
in all things, generosity.
President George H.W. Bush
At times we as a nation seem to be growing farther and farther apart, the political lines running between the extreme left and the extreme right don’t leave much room for those of us in the middle. In this time of social distancing, we are seeing more and more of the silent majority coming to the front. While the more politically minded continue to argue about who is at fault, we see regular folks step up and offer a hand. Not just to family and friends but in many instances to strangers. During World War II, many companies retro-fitted production lines to manufacture the machines of war that were needed. Today we see whiskey distilleries stop making the spirits that made Kentucky famous and started making hand sanitizer that medical personnel needed so badly, multiple sewing factories changed over and started making masks and gowns that were needed.
Using Go Fund Me pages and the internet, young people that are sometimes so easily dismissed by us old folks are raising money to buy food and supplies for anyone that need these items. One little girl started a Go Fund Me page to purchase medical supplies, she donated her own savings to the cause and was able to raise several thousand dollars.
Other young people were each helping their grandparents by running errands like grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions and getting the mail. Some of them noticed that there were some shut-ins that did not have family close enough to be of much help, so these kids banded together to take care of the elderly in their areas. Not only did they supply for the physical comforts, they were in some cases the only contact some of these folks had with the outside world, even if it was from a distance.
I have written before about the wonderful job that the school systems are doing, handing out food and when needed they give tutoring, on line and in person again from a distance. Another teacher story came out of Woodward, Oklahoma. A little girl named Erin was going to turn 14 years old with only her parents and older brother in attendance. In the big picture, it’s probably not that big of a deal but Erin’s day was made a little brighter by the sudden appearance of her English teacher at the end of the family driveway. The teacher, Sonya Bell Covalt, got out of her car and in a voice loud enough to be heard on the porch, sang Happy Birthday to Erin.
The unity and generosity that President Bush spoke of can be seen daily if we choose to look.
I started with one President Bush and I will end with the other. President George W. Bush released a video this last week in which he spoke about the things that should bring us together. “Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat. In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together and we are determined to rise.” Mr. President, I couldn’t have said it better myself.