Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thoughts of the season.....

Like most Americans, I'm tempted to dwell on the floundering economy and bailout info we're force fed 24/7 by the media. If government bailouts of big banks and big business wasn't so outrageous, I might even find a bit of humor in the process. If I mismanage my budget to the point that we lose our home, our vehicle, and everything we own, no one will care. We'd be considered foolish failures, pariahs. Folks would whisper about us and cluck their tongues. But.....when bankers or auto makers mismanage their businesses into the ground, the Beltway races in to rescue them from their follies.

This last weekend I experienced life as it is in small town America, life as it should be and is for a majority of us. The rural economy may be sluggish, but I saw no signs of hopelessness in my little town on Saturday. I started my day at a pancake feed to benefit local service groups. Then I browsed a fantastic craft fair, the proceeds of which went to support local schools. I ended my day at another craft fair where all the proceeds went to a fund established to help build a new hospital. Later in the day a soup day was hosted by a local restaurant to help offset medical bills for a local couple. The turnout for each event was huge and crowded with people eager to spend whatever they could afford in support of projects larger than their own immediate needs. I saw many smiling faces this weekend on people happy to be a part of solutions instead of contributing to problems. That is life outside the Beltway.

I don't mind supporting projects that accomplish good results, such as the church ladies who contribute school supplies for grade school children. I enjoy contributing to the greater good when it comes to schools, hospitals, food banks, or common citizens. In this small, rural town you'll hear no whining about needing bailouts or handouts. What you WILL see is people who contribute wherever they can and try to take up the slack ignored by state and federal entities.

Generous spirits thrive everywhere during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. But in my rural Kansas town, generosity flourishes year round.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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