Neighbor Nov11

Neighbor

Folks, let’s just call it what it is. We’ve all seen it over the past 12+ days but we’ve given it some pretty highfalutin terms: neighborly, friendly, prudent, helpful, kindness, outreach, responsibility, etc. And there are all those examples: a family chainsawing a neighbor’s tree all the while knowing their roof was ruined by the storm just so everyone else would be able to have an open road through town; a block or residents deciding to have pot luck dinners where those with power cooked the food of those without so everyone would have company through the darkness and use food instead of letting it go bad; a man who went to drop off food to a senior citizen who lived by himself and realized he could not leave him in the dark and cold and drove him personally to a community shelter; a family who gave up precious fridge space to maintain life-saving medicine for another family who had lost power; a woman who had her own parent to care for but went out of her way to make sure her neighbors, who were elderly, could get something to eat and to help them stay warm; a family who gave their portable power battery so phones could be charged and lights could be on; people who said “If there’s anything you need, just let me know” and really meant it. All without fanfare, all without credit, all without asking for something in return. And these examples are just scratching the surface of what was done. To be sure there were those who used this time to reveal the less-than-graceful attributes of our better nature but there will always be those people. Just realize that for every one of those, there are more than...

Mohammed Nabbous Mar21

Mohammed Nabbous

Citizen journalism. A term used recently, and most commonly in America, to denote those upset with the government due to taxes they think are so high. In other parts of the world, it means something else. It means speaking a government that does not belong to you. It means reporting on false imprisonment, government-sanctioned violence, it means reporting on unjust persecution. It means fear being imprisoned, tortured, or killed. Mohammed Nabbous was a citizen journalist. He was killed two days ago. We here in America cry and complain about keeping an eye on our government for high taxes and quality of life. He was trying to report on a government that imprisoned, tortured, and killed its people. I never met him and only heard of him in news reports. He leaves behind a pregnant wife. Puts things in perspective. So whenever we ‘citizen journalists’ forget the purpose of what we do and get tempted to fall into the culture of vanity or personalities, maybe it would do good to remember that the problems are what we should try to address – that it’s about bringing out information. Mohammed Nabbous died for what we take for...