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By Lauren Westmoreland
Staff Writer 

Nation of inspiration


July 26, 2016  | View PDF

In today’s day and age, the tensions in every arena are at a fever pitch. It seems as if so many are on edge, distraught by the daily violence and unrest that is rippling around the world. Disaster screams from national news headlines; dour predictions of doom blare on various social media platforms. There have even been shocking acts of violence and loss in our own community.

In such a world, it has become more apparent that the younger generations are becoming apathetic about the future of our country and doubtful as to their individual future. However, I have also seen that there is much to hope for in the future of our nation. For every young person that feels lost and hopeless, there is another young person standing up and offering strength and willingness to carry the torch of generations past into the future.

There is hope in every kind act, every act of community that I have been privileged to observe since the beginning of my tenure here. The fact that despite the odds, people are still standing up and lending a hand to their neighbor in whatever capacity that might be is truly wonderful to behold.

We have so many “silent volunteers” here in our community of Portola, and all across Plumas County, working behind the scenes to do what they can with what they have.

It puts me in mind of a quote that I love that resounds from my childhood in the words of the remarkable Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” These are deceptively simple words that really hit home for me as I reflect on the grand scheme of things.

If you take the “raindrop in a bucket” theory as an example, there are many “raindrops” of kindness in our area and beyond filling up that metaphorical bucket on a constant basis once you start looking.

From the clubs and organizations that come together to put on community events, to the individuals I meet every day, volunteering their time to make the world just a little bit better place, I take solace and inspiration.

I will continue to hold fast to the warm welcome I have received from the members of this community, and use that to carry forward into the unknown as I traverse the highways and byways of daily life, as we know it in our country, our state and our city. My final thoughts as I come to a close? With every act of understanding, we unite as a community and as a nation. With empathy and open hearts, we can be the helpers that Fred Rogers spoke of, coming together to illuminate the world that feels at times, to this humble writer, like it can be impenetrably dark.


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