As I See It: Who do we value?

Columnist says we should ask ourselves who we really value and why. And once we have figured that out, we should let them know we care.


I was reading the Sunday paper - one that is actually printed on paper as opposed to being online - when I came to the Parade magazine. The theme of the issue this week was celebrities who had passed away in 2020.

There were actors, singers, athletes - entertainers all - and a few people from the government/political world. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rep. John Lewis were likely far above the people in the entertainment world in terms of far-reaching accomplishments.

But, every time I see one of these “important people” issues, I pause and contemplate what we as a society and culture are missing.

How many public safety people - law enforcement (troopers, police and sheriffs) have died this year in the line of duty? Do we ever wonder where the men and women come from who put themselves in harm’s way to save others? I am personally disgusted with any politician who pontificates about the need for total reform and some dismantling of police forces - as if anarchy is more preferable than peace in our streets!

How many firefighters have been injured or lost their lives trying to contain wildfires, building fires or those set by arsonists, rioters and looters?


How many military men and women are deployed today in parts of the world where their chances of being in direct, mortal combat are higher than most of us would shrink away from?

How many health care workers have themselves contracted and suffered or died from the COVID-19 virus while caring for so many critically ill people?

How many people who produce or process the food we need, who transport it to retail establishments, who stock the shelves and work at other essential businesses have fallen sick? Not to leave out the thousands who work at food banks to gather and distribute food to people who are unemployed and are without an income to buy enough food.

Every one of these people is someone’s father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, niece or nephew.

Let’s not forget the educators who struggle to provide our youth with knowledge and skills that are so important to their success.

I challenge everyone to read the obituaries in your local newspapers, not to be macabre wondering about the death of others; but to really learn about the lives and accomplishments of people you’ve never met and will never know. There are countless veterans who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and in the Middle East. There are people from every possible occupation who excelled at what they did. Many of them contributed to their communities as Rotarians, Lions, Elks, Legionnaires, VFW members, Knights of Columbus and countless other charitable organizations.

There are people with large extended families who will miss them far more than we will miss any famous actor, singer, model, athlete, lawyer, judge, politician - that list is endless.

Sometimes we should ask ourselves who we really value and why. And once we have figured that out, we should let them know we care. That might be the best Christmas gift!


Well, that’s the way I see it.

Pete Abler - As I See It.jpg

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