Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Season of Compassion Shouldn't End

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Season of Compassion Shouldn't End

Article excerpt

Already 1996 is a muddle in our heads. The election seems eons ago. Madonna's baby and Dennis Rodman's bridal gown, Richard Jewell's non-case and the Unabomber's real one, JFK Jr.'s bride and Dick Morris' hooker, Enid Greene Waldholtz's five-hour news conference and Jenny Jones' secret-crush episode, Pierre Salinger's lapse in judgment and Bob Dole's 15 percent tax cut - all gone and no doubt soon forgotten.

Our minds at the beginning of the new year are filled not with what news-making people have done in the recent past but with thinking of eating still more turkey leftovers, buying more batteries for Christmas toys and struggling to pay the January bills.

The past is past, and now it is on to 1997. Problem is, unfortunately, focusing on forgetting last year and moving on to the new year often includes forgetting charitable giving. After all, just last week, good folks bought a couple of dolls for the Salvation Army toy drive. Sent a check to the holiday food project and dropped a blanket off at the homeless shelter. Filled a sack with canned goods for a church-adopted family. Helped make cookies for nursing home patients. All that good will and compassion that flourished at the end of the year are on their annual ebb. The season for giving is always on the skids about now, because we assume someone else will take care of poor people. We have already done our part, haven't we? Whoa. We are the "someone else." Those of us who give during the traditional giving time of the year should be the ones most likely to give other times, too. After all, we have found a way to come up with extra food, time and money during the holiday-busy months of November and December. Why not figure out how to do the same thing from January through October? We are already ahead of our not-so-charitable friends and acquaintances because we have exhibited kindness and concern for the less fortunate. The fact is that those who do not contribute, and can, need to do so, too, but their selfishness may be too tough a nut to crack in one column. …

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