Everybody loves a parade!Published 11:00pm Saturday, December 7, 2013
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The excitement and joy of Christmas was on full display for all those who packed the streets and sidewalks of downtown Brookhaven for Thursday’s Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade. The weather cooperated, and it was obvious from the number of entire families sitting together that this community is one that delights in the joy and peace of Christmas.
There is nothing, in my experience, that better expresses the joy of Christmas than happy smiles on children’s faces. Walking along the sidewalks before the parade began that excitement was everywhere.
The parade itself was filled with entries and had almost as many residents marching, walking, riding in a car or on a float as those observers filling the streets. Even the trains got involved a couple of times with their horns adding to the fun and laughter that Christmas brings.
Whatever problems or concerns any of us may have, the parade provided a pause and brief escape that allowed us as a community to join together to celebrate Christmas.
Hats off to the folks that plan and organize this annual event. It’s no easy task putting all the pieces in place so everyone has a great time.
Kudos also to those that stayed late into the night and early morning cleaning up the mess left behind. When we headed out to work Friday morning the downtown area was cleaned and ready for another business day.
The Boy Scouts of America have a code that says leave “leave it better that we found it” … and that was evident Friday morning.
This spirit of Christmas can and should continue in each of us on a personal basis. Two news events this week offered a perfect example of how we as individuals can improve the quality of a person’s life.
The news reports of the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela offered each of us lessons on forgiveness. Mandela taught the world that to live in harmony we must treat each other respectfully and understand that we change the world in a positive manner one person at a time. I hope we can all reflect on his life and decide that when we bring help or happiness to one person we have just helped make the world a little better.
The second news report from York, Pa., Daily Record was, by contrast, about the efforts of a second grader teaching the world the lesson of compassion. Young Christian Bucks realized that some of his classmates were lonely during recess, and he decided to do something about it. His solution was to install a “buddy bench” where fellow students could sit together and offer each other acceptance and friendship. The Daily Record reports that a buddy bench is a designated area where students feeling lonely or upset can seek camaraderie. It is painted in bright, inviting colors.
We all have heard the cliché that all we need to know we learned in kindergarten.
The news reports this past week on two individuals from different countries and generations provided us a vivid example that the compassion we extend to one person can have an immediate and worldwide impact.
What are we doing to create harmony and where will we build our “buddy bench”?
If you have ideas please share them with your Daily Leader.
Otis Raybon is the publisher of The Daily Leader. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 833-6961.