More often than not the news of the day it is our bounden duty to report can be simply distressing.
Take for example yesterday’s worrying revelations from teachers of organised violence in some schools, in which students are being rewarded by peers for unleashing acts of terror on teachers. Sad news but you need to know this.
Then yesterday, too, a 13-year-old student died in tragic circumstances. You needed to know that, just as you have the right to know where there is crime, corruption, the impact of natural disasters and other news of a world in crisis.
It is easy under those circumstances to despair of whether there is any good news around.
But it is our happy task to inform you of myriad positive things happening and people who are determined to make a positive difference.
On May 10, in our e-paper, we highlighted local hero and Transport Board bus driver, Dale Hall, whose actions undoubtedly saved the life of a 13-year-old Lodge School student, Allisha Downes.
On a routine trip on April 30, Hall discovered that Downes was suffering an asthma attack and he immediately swung his bus into action.
Hal even carried the ailing child on his back to a doctor’s office to get medical help.
When he was rewarded by The Lodge School for his selfless act last Friday, Hall said that while people have been calling him a hero, he was just being Dale.
“I had to do what I had to do,” he said. “I was at the right place at the right time and everything fell into place so that she could be here today.”
Back in March, we told you the story of Wilkie Cumberbatch student Kayla Nugent, 8, who daily prepares breakfast for 54-year-old Adrian Skinner who is destitute.
The soft-spoken Kayla, who saw Skinner on the road asking for help while on her way to school said: “ I like to feed Benjie, I just want to know if Benjie get something to eat and if he is happy. And being kind is a good thing to do.”
And who could forget the honest four of Reynold Weekes Primary School – Nathan Blackman, Natalia Blackman, Jacquon Blackman and Jerome Forde – who found and returned a wallet and cash untouched to rightful owner Reginald Jones?
Surely there are many more stories like these of quiet acts of kindness, though not publicised, making a big difference.
Ordinary citizens don’t seek attention for what they do, though they certainly deserve it. We need more like them – mostly young people – who embody Barbadian qualities of generosity, selflessness, and love.
The late David Thompson declared that Barbados was more than an economy, it was a society.
You would be forgiven for forgetting given the sheer turmoil of life on this rock these past 392 years.
Now more than ever when Barbados is grappling with a range of social challenges such as rising violence and lawlessness, these selfless, inspiring stories are powerful reminders of the true character of our island people and the traditional values that are in need of upholding.
To borrow from a popular song, people need people. What makes a community is aid in service of need – someone willing to help a child with homework, buy the groceries of a needy family or offer a senior citizen a ride to church.
We all need help at one time or the other and our national life is refreshed when people are willing to step up to extend a hand up, not a handout.
And all of us can play our part. Make a gesture across the table, reach out beyond your home, your parish or your church to make a difference every day.
For now, to Dale, Kayla, Nathan, Natalie, Jacquon and Jerome and all others who go the extra mile, we owe the thanks of a grateful nation.
Barbados needs ordinary heroes like you.
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