Faith in humanity

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With all the negative things going on in the world, it is easy to forget that there are still good people. However, over the past several weeks, I must say that my faith in humanity has been restored, at least a little bit.

Over the last several weeks, I have seen people donating supplies to send to hurricane-flooded areas. I saw people buying bottled water, cleaning supplies, and more to send to those who lost everything and will have to deep-clean what they did not lose prior to rebuilding. I saw people giving without asking for receipts or proof of where their donations went. There were no stipulations put on who their donations went to, just simply that they went to those in need. There was no race, no ethnicity, and no division. There were, simply, people in need.

I also saw men load up their boats with supplies and head down south to help in any way they could. Most of these men would probably fit the term “redneck” to a “T.” But that did not stop them. These men, and women in some cases, were not asked to go. They went of their own free will to help their fellow man. There were news reports of these “rednecks,” with their jacked up trucks and flat-bottomed boats, getting to people that other rescuers could not. There were no forms that had to be filled out, no questions that had to be answered prior to serving or being helped. Again, it was just people, helping people, when they needed it most.

Outside of hurricane relief efforts, probably the single most awesome thing I have had an opportunity to witness or be a part of happened on a football field, in the heat of August, in Texas. On Aug. 31, I had the pleasure and the privilege to cover a story that reporters dream about. Hughes Springs and Daingerfield were set to open their 2017 high school football seasons, one looking to avenge an upset loss that opened last season, while the other looked to maintain momentum from last year’s win. Sounds very average, right? But I can tell you, what I, and all of those in attendance that night, witnessed was nothing but extraordinary, especially for this day and time.

Two teams, separated by six miles, put aside their differences and allowed a special event to happen for a special student. Hughes Springs senior Justin Myrick, a student who had always been limited to cheering from the sideline due to a traumatic brain injury, was given the opportunity to suit up as part of the Mustangs’ varsity team, run a play, and score a touchdown. All because two coaches recognize that there is more to life than football.

Yes, there are those detractors who can’t believe Daingerfield allowed it to happen (and yes, there were comments to that affect heard by my husband in the stands). Yes, there are those who felt like The Steel Country Bee covered the event too much. Come on, really? Why not spend a lot of coverage on something good for a change.

I, for one, applaud Coach Chris Edwards and Coach Mike Waldie for stepping up and allowing Justin to have a once in a lifetime opportunity. And to all those fans on both sides of the ball that were in attendance, I offer this challenge: remember that night and that feeling. When mainstream media has no more hurricanes to cover and they go back to trying to divide us, remember what it feels like in Small Town, USA to come together for the good of something bigger than all of us.

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