Civil Society

As 2023 staggered its end, most of us were probably struck with the procession of media news stories reporting criminal actions, fire disasters, car wrecks, retail thefts, and other ugly stories. We should remember that those kinds of stories do make news, involving police, fire departments, and other reporting authorities. What is less likely to make news are act of kindness, generosity, good Samaritans, people stepping in to help those who have suffered misfortunes.

One example that comes to mind is the support of the community in Londonderry who turned up in Jelly’s convenience store to help Mrs. Jelly clean up the flood damage and get her merchandise back on the shelves after the flooding of a week ago. Another is the Mooselook restaurant in Concord that delivered sandwiches and coffee to firefighters putting down a fire in a house  in the village.

I’m sure there were lots of examples of generosity in Barre and other central Vermont towns that took the brunt of the December flooding.

These spontaneous acts of kindness and generosity are the hallmarks of an active and caring civil society. where people put their own issues aside to strengthen the spirit of community – of which Vermont is an excellent example.

Let me thank the news media, especially our local newspapers, for calling these actions to everyone’s attention, which has the effect of stimulating more of them.


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