November 21, 2013 11:03:30 AM
Newspaper stories lift the spirit
I cannot recall ever having been as uplifted in spirit after reading a newspaper as I was after reading the Nov. 15, 2013 Commercial Dispatch.
I will try to list all the stories that I enjoyed, and briefly comment on each.
On Page 1 was a story about football wide receiver Jerry Rice returning to his high school at his home in Crawford to receive an honorary plaque to be given to the school. He is generally known as the greatest wide receiver of all time. Students, family, former teachers and peers packed the gymnasium to hear what he had to say. He stressed the hard work that led to his achievements, not taking short cuts, following advice from his parents and teachers, and, above all, saying "education is the most important thing."
I can't think of better words for young people to hear, and all of us, for that matter.
Also on Page 1 was a story about MUW celebrating 40 years of their nursing school program. There were enthusiastic comments by Sheila Adams, dean of nursing and professor Barbara Bryan. The latter made wonderful comments regarding the joys of teaching, and especially watching students "catching on" to complicated subjects. Several senior students confirmed this and praised the nursing program, mentioning the hiring preferences of those who desire to hire a "W nurse."
I have a "W nurse" daughter who finished the two year program here, did extremely well in northern California, then completed a four year program near her home. She continues to do well.
A third front-page story concerned Dr. Robin Ballard, Lowndes County Deputy Superintendent, whose son Kyle is a solider serving in Afghanistan. He told her that he and many others are having cracked, bleeding and painful lips apparently due to the humidity. He said nothing was working to help adequately. She enlisted 55 other local teachers to help and quickly they collected 1000 tubes of good lip balm, plus 300 more from New Hope.
She was amazed at such a response, but I believe this is an example of how many generous people there are, ready and able to help in time of need.
Three more positive stories were on Page 6A. The first was an editorial about MUW president, Dr. Jim Borsig who has had his contract extended for four years. He has been a very successful president in his first year. His qualities are spelled out in detail, including his interest in our community.
We are so blessed to have him. I believe "The W" will continue to grow in all positive areas steadily with Dr. Borsig's leadership.
A second Page 6A article, written by Leonard Pitts, was about Pope Francis who exemplifies new papal characteristics. These include his dislike for luxuries that usually surround popes. Rather, he carries his own bags, lives in a small apartment, cooks his own meals and uses a 5-year-old Ford. He washed and kissed the feet of 12 prisoners including some girls and at least one Muslim. He believes God loves everyone, including followers of all religions and even atheists. Loving everyone is high on his list of things we should all do.
I am not a Catholic, but I feel favorable about Pope Francis.
Lastly, on Page 6A is an article dealing with the benefits that art has on many aspect of our lives. It is well worth reading.
I find it unusual to have such a high number of articles with such a variety of subjects and examples of meaningful facts that can improve and enlarge our thinking and behavior in one small newspaper.
It might be beneficial for students to read and discuss these articles. It would be a happy way to prepare for the holidays.
1. Ask Rufus: It was 75 years ago LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Roses and thorns: 10/19/14 ROSES & THORNS
3. Our View: County's school district should not take 'no' for an answer DISPATCH EDITORIALS
4. Possumhaw: The persimmon is possible to eat LOCAL COLUMNS
5. Michael Gerson: Ebola challenges America's ability to adapt NATIONAL COLUMNS