Editorial: Minding our manners
People are so angry. The rogue practitioners of road rage have spread their take-no-prisoners attitude to a large portion (it seems) of the population. Talk shows, blogs, letters to the editor, rallies and protests all transmit a message, "I am right, you are wrong, and you are an idiot, too." Manners have disappeared.
So, in this year of discontent, we are pleased to point out that most people are still minding their own business and that many of them are managing to do a great deal of good for the community without getting into other people’s faces to trumpet their superiority. Today, we single out four of them for their efforts.
At home, Mari Ann and Charlie Banks, for a second year, threw open the hospitable gates of White Hall and through a combination of ticket sales, donations and connections with U.S. Foodservice, raised more than $10,000 and collected enough food for 1,500 meals. All of this will be used by food pantries in Gloucester County, helping people at home who are most in need. Well done, Mr. and Mrs. Banks.
Regionally, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula are pointing thousands of young lives in the right direction.
A leaflet sent to supporters reports on the successful influence of these 14 clubs. One program targets youth who have already had some issues. It works. At joining, 48 percent said they had damaged someone’s property; just four percent damaged property during the program. Similar rates of success include those who had been picked up by police, dropping from 48 percent to 3; hit someone, dropping from 89 to 13 percent; smoked pot, from 40 to 4 percent.
Gloucester and Mathews counties are fortunate to have Boys and Girls Clubs that serve hundreds of local young people each year. These are relatively recent facilities on the scene, and without the vision of Mary Jarvis, in Gloucester, and Jeff White, in Mathews, we could still be without this tremendous asset for local youth.
So, it’s not all bad news; and instead of being angry, a lot of people are channeling their energies into productive programs. They have set good examples for the rest of us to follow. Recognizing them is just good manners.