By Loretta Humble
Last Saturday’s Parade Day in Malakoff was an unqualified success. If you were there, you already know that. If you weren’t, you missed something really good. You’ll see some pictures in this paper, I’m sure, and that will give you a little hint of it. Look at those faces. Malakoff was having a real party, and enjoying every minute of it. Whether you were there or not, I hope you will go online and look at the pictures. Even if you are not a computer person, you know somebody that is. Get them to show you. You need to see the parade in living color. I have a lot of Parade Day photos on www.facebook.com/aroundthetown. I’m going to try to keep them up close to the front of the page. If anybody has more photos they want to share there, I’d love to post them. So please make the effort to go look at them. You won’t be sorry.
Just take a look at all of us having a good time together. You can see it in everybody’s faces. Let’s try to figure out how we can do more of that. I don’t mean necessarily in a big wingding like the parade. But maybe more of those, too, if that is what it takes to get our adrenaline stirred up and get us thinking of how things could be if we gave it our best. But let’s think about simpler things, too. What can we do to pull this town together for the long term, in good solid ways that can help us all? How can we reach out and get to know a few people better? How can we learn to trust a few more people?
Last Sunday, in the church I went to, the minister had us turn to the person sitting next to us and just look into their eyes for a long, long minute. That may not sound like much until you are doing it, but it is nearly overwhelming, in a very good way. We just don’t usually stop to be quiet and pay that much attention to one another. We need to pay attention to one another. Now I’m not suggesting you go into Berry Lumber Monday and grab hold of Kenny Berry and stare deeply into his eyes for 60 seconds. He might not have got around to reading this column yet, and it might just overwhelm him a little, in a not as good way. But I am suggesting that if we pay more attention to one another, we will find we are a lot more alike than we are different, and that a lot of what we are looking for and need, in order to have a good life, is the very same thing. And if we really understood that we are all in this boat together, we could change this town, this little area, for the better in big ways.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about catching two Sunday morning sermons the same Sunday here in Malakoff. I told you they were both saying the same thing. They asked us to imagine what would happen if we really paid attention to what we were being called to, and did what we know to do. They said if we did, we could transform our town.
Now these were preachers, and they were talking to Christians, which most of us at least say we are, but it is true for all of us, whatever we call ourselves. We know what we need to do. We need to love one another. We need to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. If we did we could lots of times see why he or she was acting the way they were. We could understand their situation. We could see what we could do to help them and ourselves.
I look at those faces on on those floats, and in the watchers, and I see people who have for just a little while let down their barriers. All I see are children, some of them as old, even older than as me. I look at those faces and I fall in love with Malakoff all over again. I want to take them all home with me and make them my family. I want to find some way to fan this lovely flame and keep it alive and make it grow.
Did last Saturday bring tears to your eyes like it did mine? Do you think we can expand on this? Let’s keep talking about it.