Angels shine amid the chaos

December 24, 2002|by BILL KOHLER

It's easy to be cynical.

It's easy to be skeptical.

It's even easier to be self-absorbed and unaware of the other things going on in the world around us.

As 2002 draws to a close, there really are plenty of things to worry about, so the hard part sometimes is seeing the glass half full.

The economy appears to be going down the tubes.

We're on the brink of war with an insignificant country on the other side of the world.

Major companies are lining up for bankruptcy protection like holiday shoppers in a check-out line.

This has been one of the worst years in some time for layoffs at local companies, especially in Franklin County, Pa.


The cost of insurance is so frightening that companies across the country are dropping it, raising rates or going out of business.

Taxes are going up and governments are so much in debt, pretty soon a pack of smokes will cost 10 bucks and we'll be paying 8 percent sales tax.

Many people lost loved ones this year (my family included - we lost a man who was a dear uncle, father, husband and brother) and are feeling empty and alone.

Two people terrorized the Washington, D.C., area this fall with random sniper attacks, killing 10.

Couples are fighting and even killing each other, leaving children without parents and parents without children. What good does that serve?

See a pattern here?

It would be easy to stay inside with the shades drawn and say, "nay, nay, nay," but life is too short for that, isn't it?

In between all the bad stuff, let's try to find the white, creamy filling.

Excuse the clich, but what better time to look than Christmas?

There are plenty of positive things and good people roaming the schools, streets and churches of the Tri-State area.

Angels among us?

  • The Mont Alto (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Department set a good example for us, spending dozens of hours preparing and then on Sunday delivering more than 100 Christmas baskets of food and toys to needy families.

  • The 12 Christmas Angels featured on the previous 11 days and concluding in today's paper. We can learn from their kindness, their unselfishness.

  • What about our local churches? Parishioners give of their time, prayers and money for something they believe in, something that gives our local communities a strong fabric to bind us. Some of the most selfless, humane acts happen in the Sunday school rooms and fellowship halls of churches in places from Johnsontown in Berkeley County, W.Va., to Rouzerville in Franklin County.

  • Members of our local service clubs like the Rotary, Masons and Lions also give tirelessly for the good of their community. Thank you.

  • People who donated to worthy causes this holiday season also deserve a pat on the wings. It's something we all can do - whether it's dropping a few coins in a Salvation Army kettle or donating food and money to a school food drive. And, kudos go out to those who staffed the kettles during one of the coldest, most bitter holiday seasons in recent memory.

  • The police officers who risk their lives and limbs to protect and serve. If you see a cop or deputy, slow down and give 'em a thumbs up.

  • And last but not least, look at yourself and find what's good about you.

"What do I have to offer?"

We have plenty if we only search our insides and find a way to share without thinking and give without regretting.


Bill Kohler is Tri-State Editor of The Morning Herald. Reach him at, or calling 1-800-626-6397, ext. 2023.

The Herald-Mail Articles