I do not know about you, but I have become increas­ing­ly weary of the inces­sant atten­tion to celebri­ties’ lack of civil­i­ty and respect for oth­ers, and the media’s report­ing it as “news” for at least a week. We can react by rant­i­ng about our society’s demise and increas­ing vio­lent behav­iors every­where we look. This media atten­tion reminds me of the say­ing, “With great pow­er comes great respon­si­bil­i­ty” whose report­ed ori­gins vary.

happy birthday greeting card on green and red textile

Keeping that sen­ti­ment in mind, this past week many peo­ple have remained engrossed in reports about an actor assault­ing a come­di­an fol­low­ing an insen­si­tive joke at the Academy Awards.  I do not con­done this action or vio­lence in any form. What I am talk­ing about is the fact that the chat­ter about the inci­dent — sup­po­si­tion as to the psy­cho­log­i­cal ori­gins of it and who said what since — con­tin­ues to keep the pub­lic listening. 

The fact is I do not know these peo­ple and nei­ther do most peo­ple dis­cussing them.  These are indi­vid­u­als who have more wealth and priv­i­lege than I can even imag­ine.  And they have no effect on my dai­ly life.

Perhaps it is time to change our focus. I have won­dered what would hap­pen if we col­lec­tive­ly focused our time and ener­gy on those things that we can work to change. 

My con­tri­bu­tion may be small, such as check­ing on a friend or neigh­bor expe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, being kind, and thank­ing the peo­ple who help me check out and bag my gro­ceries. I can be patient with the new serv­er who is wait­ing on me in a restau­rant. I can thank the pub­lic employ­ee who assists me.  I can pay some­one a sin­cere com­pli­ment and attend com­mu­ni­ty activ­i­ties that oth­ers spend weeks or months plan­ning. I can con­sume less and recy­cle. I can learn to make my com­mu­ni­ty a more equi­table and wel­com­ing envi­ron­ment and help some­one even when it is not convenient. 

This is only a small list of things I can do. There are seri­ous prob­lems in our world. But I can use my ener­gy to make my com­mu­ni­ty bet­ter through acts large or small. If enough of us did this in our var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties, just imag­ine the kind of world in which we would live.

  • Sabrina Puckett

    Sabrina Puckett has lived in Winchester since 1989. In 2015 she retired from her work in Adult Protective Services with the State after 26 years. Since then, she has worked in Winchester in home­less ser­vices and com­mu­ni­ty men­tal health. She is a mem­ber of Better Together Winchester, Emmanual Episcopal Church, and is a mem­ber of the WinCity News and Views advi­so­ry board. Her favorite role cur­rent­ly is grand­moth­er to a red-head­ed tod­dler boy.