Lance Scranton: Focus on the positive
As we enter the seasons that are intended to bring out more than the temporal, it would be nice if we directed our eyes and attitudes upward. It’s been a year of finding all kinds of stories and people to look down on. Maybe having so many people to cast a disparaging eye at makes us feel better about ourselves (it does). But, perhaps, there are a few people we could up to, and, during the next eight weeks, we could aspire to more than talking about how bad things are and how stupid people have become.
My philosophy relies on a heavy diet of objective positivism, which I garner from reading the news constantly and teaching students the benefits of critical thinking and having some type of guiding philosophy to carry with them as they move forward in life. I constantly remind students that, in my estimation, people haven’t changed much at all; it’s just that we have so much more access to the follies of human nature exhibited by just about every person in the whole wide world.
But, students can fall prey to the constant barrage of “the next news event,” and their lens can get pretty distorted. Following are just a few of the great things that are happening in our community and world.
• Real unemployment is the lowest it has been in 17 years. We can argue the numbers, but the job market has added more than 2 million jobs (according to government sources) in the past nine months.
• The stock market is booming, and had you taken a little of your discretionary earnings and put them into an IRA or some other investment, you would be experiencing a pretty good return this year.
• Closer to home, we are experiencing some of the effects of companies that are putting their best foot forward, with buildings going up to house medical offices, equipment sales and rental space.
But what about people? I’m confident most of you know about the Craig Moffat Community Investment Cooperative, which is committed to investing in the future of our community and is looking to the people of Craig to make that happen.
I am constantly reminded of the tireless commitment to our community made by the hundreds of people who sacrifice time and money to volunteer and help with our youth programs, sports clubs, 4-H organizations, City Council, hospital, college, school boards and many others.
Instead of looking down at those whose decisions make us look good by comparison, I’m going to look up to the people who are doing the things that make me believe in what a community and country can be all about. Let’s all try it and see how it works out. There will be plenty of time and opportunity for looking down our noses in the new year.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.
Imagine that there’s a town next to a raging river, with a waterfall just five minutes downstream. One day, the residents of this town notice people caught in the river and many are going right over the waterfall’s edge. What can the townspeople do to save these people?