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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

I still believe

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I still believe we have to help the Gulf Coast. Five years after Hurricane Katrina, we still have a responsibility to help those affected by the tragedy. Much of New Orleans and surrounding areas are still in need of rebuilding. In addition, many of the families remain displaced. As a country, it’s our responsibility to be consistent in our efforts to restore the Gulf Coast. This is even more important since the oil spill also had disastrous effects on the region.

I still believe it takes a village to raise a child. While parents are certainly the first teachers for their children, it takes an extended network of friends, family, mentors and educators to ensure that children evolve into responsible, law-abiding adults. The village approach has sustained our community for generations. Now that we’ve gotten away from that method, evidence of the downfall is present in our society where absentee fathers, teenage mothers, disrespectful children, increased crime, and under-performing students are a norm.

I still believe in a woman’s right to choose. Whether a woman decides to have an abortion or not really doesn’t affect me one way or the other. However, when that choice is taken away from a woman is when I have an issue. A woman has the right to do what she wants to with her body. There aren’t efforts in place to prohibit body piercings or excessive tattoos, so why should limitations be placed on a woman? There are far more pressing things to worry about – things that specifically impact this country and world, like homelessness, inadequate health care, ongoing wars, corporate and political corruption, genocide, widespread disease, the list could go on and on. Let people do what they want with their bodies.

I still believe there are consequences to our actions. Great things can happen to us as a result of the good deeds we do for others. On the other hand, there can be negative consequences to the bad things that we do. I am confident that if we think before we act, many of the negative consequences can be eliminated.

I still believe listening is better than talking. Sometimes we get so hung up on what we have to say that we fail to listen to others. Listening and actually internalizing what a person is saying is highly effective communication. Some of my favorite people to listen to are older individuals because they are full of so much knowledge; the professional and life lessons I learn from them can’t be bought at the most exclusive bookstore.

I still believe in chivalry. Call me old fashioned, out-of touch, or simply unrealistic, but I believe that chivalry is an important aspect of a relationship. Nowadays, people don’t “court” one another like people did yesteryear. Much of what seems to happen is an emphasis being placed on sex initially rather than getting to know who a person really is on the inside. The outcome can result in a missed opportunity at a lifetime of greatness with someone God has specifically for you. Imagine how low the divorce rate would drop if more of us reorganized our priorities.

I still believe in love. True, unadulterated love that transcends time, money and one’s physicality. The most precious thing to me is when I can see that two people are in love … it radiates from them and it’s exciting to see.

I still believe that people are in our lives for a reason, a season and a lifetime. Determining which slot a person fits in isn’t always simple, but once you’ve got their role established, it’s easy to put things in perspective and move forward.

I still believe that mistakes aren’t always bad … as long as you learn from them. My mom used to always tell me to save as many of my own mistakes as I can and learn from those of others. That lesson was invaluable. And even when I make my own mistakes, I try to find a lesson in them. Doing so makes me accountable for my actions, but eventually it also makes me a wiser person.

I still believe in the goodness of people. We can do so much for one another. I believe that if we all strive to be genuinely good people, our blessings will overflow and life will be so much more enjoyable – being bad or mean-spirited takes so much negative energy.

I still believe in God and the power of his greatness. Knowing God is what gives me the resolve to endure the challenging times, the strength to be strong when I really want to be weak, and the wisdom to make sound decisions in a sometimes crazy world.

Now that you know what I still believe in, I’d like to know what you believe. Send me an e-mail at ShannonW@IndyRecorder.com, post a comment at www.IndianapolisRecorder.com, or send a message on our Facebook page.

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