ROYSE CITY —
“What am I doing?”
That’s a serious question I asked myself on a recent Wednesday morning.
“What am I doing to help people around me?”
Early this morning, I started thinking about people around me — people I know very well and people who are just passing acquaintances. What struggles do they have? Are they forced to face those struggles alone? Is there anything I can do to ease their pain just a little bit?
I’m going to focus for just a moment on the economic struggles that so many people are facing today. People all around us are losing their jobs, their cars, their homes, their self-worth.
There was a time when we heard about people who struggled from paycheck to paycheck. Now, I’m hearing more about our friends and neighbors who are faced with how they’re going to make it through the day.
The easiest thing to do is to look the other way.
Don’t tell me your problems. I’ve got problems of my own.
This morning, I started thinking about some very tough times the Hardins went through two or three decades ago. I wrote “decades” because that sounds much deeper into the past than 20 or 30 years.
Some memories of those days long ago are still so fresh on my mind. And when I recall them, I’m inspired to do what I can to help friends who are struggling, even if it’s simply letting them know I care and am concerned.
When wife Becky and I owned a newspaper in a small East Texas town, we struggled financially. Oh, how tough it was for the two of us to produce that little newspaper. We worked hard on the paper and we worked hard to keep our heads above water financially.
And we almost drowned.
My best friend at the time abandoned us during this time. He disappeared. He used to be in my office every morning, but when the going got tough for us, he got going. In other words, he disappeared
When we finally sold the newspaper, I asked my friend where he was when I needed him most?
I remember his words.
“Jim, I decided to stay away because I knew you were embarrassed.”
“Embarrassed?” I responded. “I was dying and my friend abandoned me.”
I’m sure there have been times that I have been absent when a friend needed me. You probably have, too.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in me and what’s going on with me and mine that I disappear from the lives of some dear people who are dying.
Being a friend to a friend is pretty simple.
I told people later about our needs during those tough times. I said that it would have been wonderful if people had come to us and stuffed $100 bills in our pockets.
Our biggest need, though, was for my friends to come up to me, put an arm around my shoulder and say, “Jim, how are you? I know you’re going through some tough times right now, and I’m here to tell you I care. I’m praying for you. What can I do?”
If you talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk. I want my actions to speak louder than any words I’ve written on this page.
My prayer — and your prayer too if you choose — “Lord, show me people who are drowning as I was. Give me encouraging words I can share. Give me resources I can share. Help me to be sensitive to the needs of others. And give me boldness to step out and be who I believe I’m supposed to be. And let this be such a rich experience in their lives that they will be talking about it for decades to come.”
ROYSE CITY —
“What am I doing?”
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I checked an online definition just to make sure I pretty much understood what they were saying. I thought I knew, but sometimes I apply my own definitions, and I have been wrong.
So I checked it out and, yep, that was me all right. I was definitely “in my element.”
Dispatch issues present number of problems that need to be fixed
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Sense of unity seems hollow following tragedy
It is an all too familiar drill: First the shocking bulletin and the slow leak of awful details.
Then the endless loop of the same footage on news stations. We watch compulsively, as if repeated viewing or the prospect of additional details will somehow satisfy the grief, anger, and confusion we collectively feel.
Community partnership addressing serious community problem
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- COLUMN: Being a role model more important than winning