Editor Al Campbell -- Use This One

Editor Al Campbell.

Early on the bright Sunday morning of March 24, a tall crane raised a stalwart individual in a metal cage to the breathtaking height of 106 feet over North Main Street in Court House. In a short time, he fixed the out-of-whack pulley that had caused Old Glory to be flown at half-staff for quite a while. Some folks in church said it was because I'd written a column about it, but I know the repair was just a matter of time when the weather cooperated on a weekend when court traffic is non-existent.

It's rewarding to hear that folks read this column, while others attribute it with power to get things done. If only that were the case, it might help set our collective course on a better heading.

We all know wishing is a fond thing, but it takes work to make dreams solidify. When I recently talked with Daniel Auld and Jeff McCart about the success they witnessed in Cameron Hamer through years of mentoring and youth football, it became clear that we are in dire need of more people like them.

They chose to lead young people much the same as do others who work with 4-H clubs, scouts and other youth endeavors. There's no money in it, so what those men, and others like them do is done from the heart. They want to help the next generation excel and prove to itself it possesses the right stuff.

Left alone a plant may flourish or it may die. If it's cared for, watered, fertilized, propped up when needed, it will thrive and grow to its full stature.

Boys and girls are like plants. Left to their own devices, they might succeed, but with all the "life traps" that exist, theirs is indeed a treacherous path to tread alone.

Let's be honest, society doesn't offer a solid grounding for many young people. What is offered to them is a road built on a swamp. Every step they make gets mud on their feet.

That's where adults who care come into the mix.

As McCart said as he spoke of Hamer, the joy of coaching is to watch the changes that occur over time, to guide a young leader who has the natural ability to help those younger than him become better.

Auld, too, mentored Hamer for a longer time than McCart. Auld has been down life's path, knows the pitfalls, and does his utmost to deter youngsters from going the wrong way. Many of those whom he has mentored do not have adults like him who care. He will offer to drive a young person to work so that they can establish a work ethic.  He will advise them how to react in situations that might otherwise cause a bad reaction.

Today's youthful generation is in need of many more men and women, who are willing to spend time with them, listen to them, don't overreact, and offer advice. They don't want to hear sermons from adults, because that's an automatic shut-off switch in youthful minds. Instead, young men and women would much rather see a sermon in action. They would rather have an adult there to listen to them when they are up as well as when they are down.

We fret about addictions of all types, particularly among the young. While mentors can't turn every one of those youths onto the right path, they might touch one or two,

As Robert Frost's famed poem "The Road Not Taken" concludes, "I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."