PRESS EDITORIAL: An innate goodness overshadows the evil

Life is good in America . . . except for the ugly manifestations of racial and religious bigotry and appalling acts and threats of violence carried out by evildoers whose intolerance morphed into hate.

Those exceptions are real, truly an awful blight on this nation founded on principles of equality.

Part of their evil effect is that they distort the reality that Americans are not like that.

Life is good in America.

We mean that not in the sense of economic comfort, though many are enjoying that, but in the generosity, respect and empathy with which most of the people of this nation treat one another.

Acts of charity and kindness are routine.

A general sense of concern for the well being of others is the norm.

Responses of help for people whose lives are upset by weather disasters and other crises are virtually automatic.

We see this through the prism of life in friendly small towns, but it exists wherever Americans live, including its largest cities.

Who could not be moved by the reports of the Muslim community of Pittsburgh raising money for the victims of the synagogue massacre and offering to stand guard over that bloodied place of worship?

Back in the communities of Ozaukee County, altruism abides not just in individual acts, but in organized charitable initiatives.

They are so numerous it is safe to say there is at least one of these efforts underway at any given time year round.

One that is repeated every spring stands out because it reaches out—across borders and oceans far from where life is good in the U.S. to nourish hungry children.

Hundreds of Ozaukee residents gather to spend hours packing meals of simple but life-sustaining food paid for by local donors to be distributed in poverty- and famine-stricken countries under the Feed My Starving Children program.

Charitable activity that helps people closer to home goes on in so many ways that Ozaukee Press has dedicated space to publish what we call Kudos letters—letters from readers that thank the supporters, volunteers and sponsors of fundraising events and programs and report the often impressive results of those efforts.

That scores of Kudos letters are published every year is an apt measure of the volume of good works in our area.

There is no famine here, but there are people who need help getting food to feed themselves and their families in this county in spite of its identity as an uncommonly well off place.

Just ask the volunteers who staff the food pantries in Port Washington, Saukville and Grafton and distribute donated groceries to needy—and grateful—Ozaukee residents.

Those pantries got something extra for their clients recently thanks to the Stone Soup program described in a Kudos letter in this issue of the Press.

Organized by the United Way of Northern Ozaukee, Stone Soup, named after a folk tale that teaches children a lesson of sharing food with hungry strangers, marshaled some 50 volunteers and many donors of fresh produce and other food items to provide meals to be given out by the food pantries.

These examples of people volunteering to help make life good in America are especially bracing in this time of vicious political warfare when the agenda of some politicians is to stoke fear and resentment by convincing their followers that life isn’t good enough for them.

There is an innate goodness in this country.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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