Commending the deserving

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

If you want to know what your neighbors are like, have a problem. You’ll see who comes running.

If you want to see the best of a community, have something bad happen. You’ll see the kindness of people you’ve never met.

We know this from experience — years in a business where much time is spent seeing bad things or the consequences of those bad things. We have to remind people that the nature of journalism is what is out of the ordinary. For the vast majority of us, most of our days are spent safe and sound, and, so, there is no news in that, thankfully.

But sometimes we have to be reminded that in the bad, in the difficult, we see the good that is truly so abundant in our society that it can and is taken for granted.

Local authorities have worked hard searching for Kathleen Williams, the Victoria woman who went missing shortly after the New Year.

Locals, bolstered by state assistance, spent the last few weeks scouring sections of the county.

If you’ve never witnessed a search, it is a humbling experience.

To the uninitiated, it just looks like people standing around or just walking. Onlookers might not understand that there is a method — because organizers don’t want to waste time or energy or miss something.

The amazing thing about such searches is that often times the participants, like members of a rescue squad, are well-trained volunteers. Many searchers will travel hundreds of miles to help. Their reward is usually tired feet and something to eat. And, by the way, somebody has to make coffee and sandwiches.

Even those whose job it is to care go above and beyond. Because it’s not a job, it’s a passion. They want it to work out. They want it to end well. Because they care.

Actually, we all should, and, maybe, on a certain level, we all do. But it is those special people who turn out to show their compassion and their concern. It is those people we want to commend and recognize.

Thank you, dear friends and good neighbors.