Walking the walk to overcome struggles

Published 11:40 am Tuesday, July 12, 2011

People use the phrase “walking the walk” frequently as a description of those who don’t just talk values such as compassion, charity, character and love, but actually do something that exhibits them.

Humankind’s innate nature strives for these qualities, and basically, people do care. The high-speed manner in which we all live currently masks these qualities due to insufficient spare time for humanitarian actions.

Making the next appointment, getting to work on time, picking up the kids, and so forth keeps constant pressure flowing upon us. “I would love to do volunteer work, but I don’t know how I can find the time.” Sound familiar? Unfortunately, a major life-changing event acts as the catalyst to bring out the best in all of us.

A magnificent example of Shelby County spirit emerged in the aftermath of the horrendous tornadoes that ripped through Alabama at the end of April of this year.

Literally billions of dollars of damage remained in the aftermath of these storms.

Untold horrors befell unsuspecting people and facilities, and the days following revealed bigger problems every day. And then it happened — the “walkers” emerged from the shadows, and started using the gifts that God gave them to help those in need.

Police and fire departments from all over Shelby County sent crews to Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Jasper and even further out for weeks at a time. Churches sent mission teams to help those made homeless with clothes, food and shelter.

People began to organize collection drives to meet the needs of those afflicted. In general, people began to honor the greatest commandment, to love one another. The response was rapid, massive and awe-inspiring.

In retrospect, this catastrophic event polarized people from Shelby County, around the state and around the country.

Folks from all walks of life pulled together in a time of crisis. It will take this same mindset for our country to pull out of the situation in which we are currently mired. As Americans, we have faced dilemma after dilemma and always triumphed.

To overcome the present financial troubles, it behooves us to stay on task and work as a unit. A letter to our folks in Washington to that effect, saying stop the “us vs. them” mentality, might be the only chance we have to finally straighten out. Pray for peace, and a refocusing on priorities.

Bob Hicks is an Alabaster City Council member.