Our View: Small acts of goodness

Hate breeds violence. And violence, in any shape or form, breeds more violence "adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."

Those are not the words of this editorial board, but rather of Martin Luther King, Jr.

While his words were not mentioned at Monday's board meeting, they are perhaps relevant given the board's conversation.

It seems Dr. King's words, issued so poetically and importantly decades ago, and espousing the desperate need for humanity to evolve beyond such brutality, seem to be lost in today's society. Maybe that's because we're desensitized to it.

Every day we are bombarded with stories nationally and globally about the depraved acts of man.

Suspected cop killer shot dead

Taliban kidnapper killed

Why are Kurdish women dying of suspicious burns?

These were some of the headlines found on national news Web sites Tuesday, a not-so particularly newsy day. And we even left out the kingpin subject of attention-generating headlines connected to violence, O.J.

Local stories can be just as disturbing: a gold miner accused of killing his wife, a mother accused of stabbing her daughter, a mother accused of doing drugs while pregnant, infecting her baby with the narcotic. A local man accused of possessing sexually exploitative material on children.

On and on it goes.

It should be clear that under no circumstances does this editorial board believe violent actions are commonplace for the everyday person.

But, it is undeniable that like soiled water seeping into the mainstream, acts of violence, hatred and reckless disregard pollute our society, and more importantly, our children.

One board member raised a concern about witnessing, or hearing about, children hurting small animals. Another raised concerns about the mother who is accused of stabbing her child to death, and a separate incident in which a mother hurt her child by using drugs while pregnant.

Maybe we've morphed into a different category here - instead of just hatred and violence, perhaps we're covering the gamut of right and wrong. Either way, the need is just as great.

If this does not stop, that is to say, if each of us as individuals does nothing instead of the tiny, everyday things we could to stop it, the vicious cycle of hurtful actions will continue, the violent merry-go-round we now find ourselves passengers of, never ceasing.

Do yourself, your family, your community and your world a favor. Do something.

Volunteer with children. Coach a youth team. Counsel a friend in need, or better yet, volunteer to counsel strangers in need.

It's the board's view that these tiny acts of goodness, of contributing to your fellow man, will add up in the end.

And maybe, just maybe, when morality is ingrained, and when good outweighs evil, and the barbarians knock at the gates no longer, we will have the community, country and world that Dr. King once envisioned, and this board still believes possible.

Let his words once again express what the editorial board feels:

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality," he said. "That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

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