NEVER STOP SHOWING COMPASSION
Editor, Daily News
December should be a time that is marked with renewed hope, expressions of compassion, humanity and kindness to others as the month celebrates a world of holidays.
People around the world celebrate such ideas represented in their own special holiday in their own ways. The Festival of the Lights celebrates the miracle of the menorah burning for eight days with one day’s oil supply. Families celebrate Kwanzaa or the “first fruits” in recognition of African harvest celebrations. Winter Solstice celebrates the renewed hope of the long days of sunlight returning and the hope for a prosperous new year. While Christmas, either commercialized or religiously, focuses on the idea of “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31 New International Version).
Regardless of which holiday a person celebrates, each winter holiday carries a similar message of being grateful and passing on that gratitude. “Giving Tuesday,” the Athol Daily News Santa Fund, the Angel Tree program from the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, or supporting your local animal shelter and many more organizations, are built on the compassion, humanity and kindness to others. Those who donate breathe life into the organizations. They survive because the people of the town support them and, in turn, those organizations pass on their support back into the community.
Athol and all the Quabbin towns are small towns that rely on the support of its residents, its businesses and its business owners. Without these entities, our communities would cease to exist as functioning towns. Business do not move into our towns thinking how profitable they will be. In any of our “downtowns” one can look around and see the struggling shops and their local owners who care to continue to fight to exist. It is when we turn inward and stop thinking about others, that is when our compassion, humanity, and kindness fails.
Both residents and businesses carry the blame for our own lack of compassion, humanity and kindness toward our community. If our town businesses fail, we fail as a town. If our businesses continue to lay off their employees one week before Christmas with little regard to the impact on their employees’ lives that their decisions caused, our town fails. The businesses have failed the town and the town body has failed its businesses. We cannot separate ourselves by residents or business owners. We are a sole entity that lives because of its parts, as a puzzle cannot be complete without all its pieces.
As we close this world of holidays month, please think upon our community. Even after the gift-giving season is over, support your local business, and please, never stop showing compassion to those around you regardless of what part you play in town.