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By Brent Davis, editor of The Saline Courier
One of the perks of being the editor of a small town newspaper is seeing what goes on behind the scenes of everyday life. There are voices out there that would have you believe the county is full of nothing but dirty politicians, meth addicts and shoplifters. Saline County is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. However, from the view of one who is privileged to see residents at their best every day, I say those who think poorly of our community have a very skewed perception of humanity.
The heart of Saline County is larger than the sum of its population. At last count more than 100,000 people inhabit our little piece of heaven on earth. Sure, somewhere in this mass of humanity are those who have lost their way, are down on their luck or are generally up to no good. They make the pages as we all know about it. Hiding from the eye of the public is not an easy task, to be sure.
However, in the background are people who each day go about helping others without drawing attention to themselves. In fact, they generally shy away from the spotlight, choosing to remain behind the scenes.
When a need is made known, they fill it. When money is needed, they ask "How much?" instead of "Why?" or "Who for?"
The reason their generosity is not well-known is that they prefer it that way.
I have the pleasure of knowing who these extraordinary people are. Without fail, when a news story comes across my desk that involves good deeds by these individuals, a request is made to keep identities anonymous. And with the respect due, the request is always granted.
I have wondered to myself, "Where did all these people come from and why do they do what they do?" I have studied this question since the day I took over the editor's chair.
I finally have found the answer.
Looking back over the span of stories I have seen or covered in the twenty months since joining the newspaper, I have seen how the generosity of our community extends across generations. Our sons and daughters in our schools are learning from people who learned charity from those who came before. A legacy is established and continues to grow.
A prime example of this cross generational spirit of giving can be found in today's news section. Two youngsters among us decided to give up the chance of receiving gifts for their respective birthdays. Instead, they asked for friends and family to help them give back to others. In the process, these young people teach those who participate with him the satisfaction gained from helping others.
But these two are not the only young people who seems so comfortable with generosity. Tragedies related to traffic deaths of teenagers in our county have shown the compassion of our young people as it crossed city boundaries.
The future of our county is in good hands. It is the responsibility of the older generations to continue support of our offspring.
From where I sit, this doesn't appear to be a problem either.
Like the old saying goes, "The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree."