With Thanksgiving next Thursday and many holiday events set to kick-off just days after, I say thumbs up to the countless volunteers who lend a helping hand to make their communities a little brighter for the holiday season. Be it helping at the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day or decorating the parks with Christmas lights during their free time, these selfless acts of volunteerism are a reflection of what I think the season is all about, and they deserve applause. It’s no secret that volunteering is sadly becoming more a thing of the past. In fact, it’s been on a steady decline for the last 20 years. But thanks to the efforts of those who give without expectation of anything in return, the hubbub of the holidays can become a bit more merry.
Thumbs up to the great technical support staff The Evening Sun has employed at their disposal. This whole past week computer issues and technical difficulties plagued the paper at every turn. Without the technical support staff stepping in to help fix or reconfigure or whatever it is they do to help keep our computers running efficiently, this week would have been a nightmare with trying to get our stories out. They truly are the men behind the curtain keeping everything running, as without their efforts we would have been at a loss this week. So a big thumbs up to their efforts that sometimes go unnoticed by many, but should truly be recognized.
This week, my overly-opinionated “thumbs” goes out to pundits. In the wake of last weeks Paris terrorist tragedy, Facebook developers were nimble in rolling out a new “filter,” which made it easy for Facebook users to overlay the tricolore of the French flag atop their profile photograph for all to see—as a symbol of solidarity. No sooner did many of my Facebook “friends” opt to use the filter, pundits – the vigilante squad of internet Rhodes Scholars – were there in force; denouncing everyday Americans for their lack of knowledge and understanding of the complex issues leading up to the heinous acts of civil unrest abroad. While I'm not one for bandwagon rides (lifelong Phillies fan, no French filter, ect.) I'm more than just a little frustrated with those who seek to pop someone's balloon simply because they are more knowledgeable. Did all of the folks who simply “clicked” to accept the filter understand the breadth of foreign policy? Probably not; but at the very least some of them cared enough to express their empathy (albeit seeming vapid to some) with whatever means they have at their disposal. They felt bad, got angry and yearned for Parisian justice – and that wasn't unfounded. Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
My ‘thumb’ this week was going to touch on some points that MSW mentioned above. He and I have rather differing opinions, so I’ll let him take this one this week, and I’ll tackle it soon enough. Therefore, here’s a ‘thumbs up’ to the stranger in Sherburne who returned my phone to me when I unknowingly left it in my cart at the Sherburne Big M. While sitting in my car searching my purse for it – a purse filled with reporter notebooks, 17 pens, nine water bottles, and countless random notes to myself – my phone, which is predominately used for work, was no where to be found. Moments later there was a knock on my hood and a kind gentleman asked, “Are you looking for this?” I sure was. Thank you, kind Sherburne stranger, for returning an item that is necessary for a newspaper editor in 2015.