The continuous griping that seems to make up our lives sometimes overwhelms the positive things in life.
Everything and everyone seems angry these days. Radio and TV personalities spend each day complaining to their listeners. Commercials are mean-spirited. Television shows are cruel and unfunny, or built upon humiliation or the gore of crime.
I wonder how much we tend to forget the good things.
For example, I love living in a “small” town. When I visit the stores, offices, and local library in my area, I feel welcomed by the friendly faces around me.
For years, the same ladies have taken my utility payments or answered my questions when I’ve visited city and county offices. They take the time to be helpful whether in person or over the phone.
I love the fact that our small towns abound with churches. We have the freedom to worship as we see fit and we have plenty of churches around to prove it. Drive through the main streets of towns and you may hear the chiming of church bells or a carillon playing hymns. I appreciate the fact that our local school district allows start-up churches to meet in its halls.
I love to interact with the ladies at my local library.
Most smile and chat with my daughter and me. I’ve seen them be helpful and patient with those who come to the front desk and ask questions. The library has also been supportive of my daughter’s Brownie troop and other Girl Scout troops. I like that community response.
I once stood sighing in front of the paperback racks at the library. The librarian returning books to the stacks came over and with a few questions, recommended four or five authors I had never read and opened a new arena of fiction to me.
Each time I saw the Playscape playground at the former library, I appreciated the fact that volunteers took their time and energy to build the playground for the community. I found it a peaceful place, perhaps because it was built with love and appreciation.
I enjoy the parks in the metroplex. I haven’t gotten to all of them, but I have visited a number of them on pleasant, sunny days. I’m grateful to the cities that maintain these parks for their residents; particularly those that provide playground equipment and safe play areas for families.
I appreciate the fire, emergency, and police personnel in our local towns. A firefighter once took his time – in full smoke-eating regalia – to visit my daughter’s class and explain safety to the kids. I was lucky enough to have a policeman stop during a drive by one day and talk to my toddler, explain that he was there to protect citizens and that she shouldn’t be afraid of police officers. My local police officers have responded to my concerns with great seriousness and gentleness, even the day I accidentally set off our house alarm and couldn’t shut it off.
Now my small town is in a battle with a bog-box superstore, and those opposing it’s proposed location (not the store itself, just its location) have bonded together and I’ve made even more local friends. Our city leaders are talking to citizens and listening.
We sometimes forget that those we see every day or every month need positive feedback when a job is well done. I just want to say thank you for all you do.