EDITORIAL

Leading by kind example

Posted 2/27/20

In a world rife with political polarization and every negative thing imaginable being splattered across our newspapers, laptop and television screens, it can be easy to forget that the world is actually a pretty friendly place if you're just willing to

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EDITORIAL

Leading by kind example

Posted

In a world rife with political polarization and every negative thing imaginable being splattered across our newspapers, laptop and television screens, it can be easy to forget that the world is actually a pretty friendly place if you’re just willing to take a look outside and see.

Two prime examples come to mind just from this week’s news cycle – both of which have seen indisputable acts of positivity bloom from the ashes of devastating stories; reminiscent of the buds of trees making an early spring appearance all throughout the state.

The first is a story that we first covered last summer in the wake of a local Oakland Beach family fighting a frustrating battle with a contractor after their home was destroyed by a fire, and followed up on this past edition on Tuesday. One can hardly imagine a more depressing plight. Not only did the family lose their place of tranquility and comfort that they rely on, but then they proceeded to lose their shirt in the process of dealing with someone who claimed to offer a helping hand in a crucial time of need.

We’re hopeful that some kind of resolution can happen regarding the money that was allegedly wrongfully taken, or that more information will come to light to shed some more understanding on what exactly happened – but the facts in the end remain the same: the family had no place to live and the bills continued to pile up. Things began to look desperate.

What we saw since the press picked up the story on the TV airwaves and in print has been proof positive that, no, we haven’t a need to lose all hope for humanity just yet. Volunteers, skilled workers and neighbors have rallied around the family, donating time, money and labor to finally fix up the property – including an improperly sloped driveway, the sewer connection and a large, obstructive stump – and now the roof has been rebuilt and the interior is next to come.

The other story comes, again, as the result of an event that, in its immediate wake, would have even the most optimistic among us wondering whether the world was more evil than good. It happened in Westerly right before Christmas when a disturbed man opened fire into the apartment complex where he lived. Before he took his own life, he had taken an innocent woman’s and seriously wounded two others.

One of those women, Cranston resident Robin Moss – a well-liked manager at the apartment complex whose coworker, Julie Lynn Cardinal, was the woman who was slain – has since taken a turn for the better. Injuries that were thought to be permanently debilitating have, it seems, been upgraded to temporary, while still necessitating a long road to recovery. A GoFundMe campaign to raise $30,000 for the Moss family reached its goal earlier this month.

However, the incredible thing is not that the fundraiser succeeded – it’s how it got put over the top. The family members of Julie Lynn Cardinal opted to donate nearly $7,000 – which was raised at a benefit concert in honor of their lost loved one – to the Moss family instead.

These acts of kindness and selflessness happen every single day. They don’t always get reported – though we do try our very best to share every single one of them when we do hear about them. Profit-driven news stations on network and cable television channels may believe that “if it bleeds, it leads,” but true community journalists understand that, “When people are in need, their neighbors will lead.”

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