Finding inspiration

FI-EditorialIt’s easy to become cynical when all we see these days are the likes of Anthony Weiner and Alex Rodriguez, people who ask the public to trust in them, abuse that trust and, after being caught, turn to the camera and go “I don’t know why you’re mad.”

It’s enough to drive anyone to madness and think about relocating to a nice home under a rock. But, fortunately, people like those men, the ones who like to take a torch to everything around them and demand we watch the flames, are the exceptions, not the rule. There is a better character of people out there and it’s not hard to find them. It’s in your friends and neighbors and people simply going about their business as best they can.

They might not be running for mayor of New York City or playing third base for the Yankees, but they’re out there and what they bring isn’t a grand statement about being an everyday hero, but, rather, just a quiet example of what people can do. It doesn’t always seem so, but the good always outweighs the bad in society. Sometimes you have to look a little harder to find it, but it’s there.

It’s a little thing that’s been called, by us and others, the “best of Greenwich” and you can find it without much effort. There’s Sydney Petrone, a teenager doing everything she can to fight ALS to help her father, decorated former Greenwich Police Officer Roger Petrone, and everyone else suffering from this disease. She’s not holding huge galas or seeking the spotlight. She’s just trying to help and making sure you know you can help her.

And then there’s everyone giving to the food drive sponsored by the town and the local chapter of The Salvation Army. Hunger is an issue that far too many in Greenwich struggle with and while you’d never know it from the face of the town, as one board member said, scratch the surface and you’ll find it. Everyone who gave and everyone who organized the drive may have made small gestures, but they’re the ones who will have an impact.

Then there was Monday night’s Community Development Block Grant hearing in which social service groups showed up to say thank you to the town for, hopefully, granting them federal money to aid their efforts to provide shelter for the homeless, aid the disabled, assist the elderly and more. The town is working with limited funds to make this happen, and the selfless work these groups are doing is inspiring, as is the desire of all the volunteers on the block grant committee to see them get at least some of the help they need.

This is not to suggest that one abandon all belief and hope in the high profile figures of our day and that the only true good people are the anonymous ones. Everyday people have proven themselves to be jerks just as much as those who have microphones shoved in their faces wherever they go. And this is not a call to other members of the media to ignore the big scandals: Frankly, they make interesting stories and always will.

But it’s a reminder that as bad as things may seem in a 24/7 scandal cycle, things are always better if you just look. The bad stories will make more noise, but the ones about good people will have you smiling more at the end of the day.

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