Grassroots teaches us and changes us

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2005

Grassroots involvement is essential in our country. I believe one of the most dangerous things to happen would be for people of virtue to not be involved with a cause.

Let's put it another way.

Who would help those in emergencies if there was no Salvation Army?

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Who would respond to disasters if no one believed in the cause of the American Red Cross?

Who would donate blood if no believed in the need to do so?

These organizations survive through the work at the local levels.

They survive on the grassroots support network?

There are many things in the world, in our own community that would simply go undone or unnoticed were it not for the work of grassroots organizations.

Through our nation's history, many travesties of justice took place because of the lack of involvement.

We must be involved to make a difference.

We must populate the land and say for eternity that we control what happens in our world, not men or women in power in high offices, board rooms or behind closed doors.

I got an email recently where the person suggest everyone call in sick on May 1.

Under the plan,t there would be no one driving that day and the no one buying gasoline. It's a far fetched idea, but one that makes sense to me as I pay $2.17 a gallon for gasoline.

As the good senator from Wisconsin said Monday at a press conference, "I don't want to live in a world where everything drips down from the top.

Grassroots organizations must work from the very bottom up to make a difference.

A man who believed that same theory died last Sunday at his home in Midway.

Very often, when he and I would talk, we would end up in an argument.

Not that we were both right or because we were both wrong, but because we both believed in our convictions.

He was a man who believed in his convictions and when he talked about things he was involved with, you felt his conviction.

Too often, I didn't give him the time he deserved from me and now I regret it.

Not so long ago, I ran into him and I asked him why he was so adamant about things he was doing and he said because he was doing what was right.

I just shrugged at this response and went about my business.

Now I wish I had listened a little closer.

He was not a rich man and I don't believe it was in him to deceive anyone or steal anything.

Of course, that was how he was brought up.

I know a little something about the people responsible for that.

Anyone who wishes to disagree with me, there are many people who would tell you differently.

This was very evident while standing in line at his visitation Tuesday night and it was very evident at this standing room only funeral service Wednesday morning.

He would be the first to tell you that change starts at the bottom. He would say that change begins when someone decides to take a stand or take issue and begin to work to make a problem better.

So Turkey, may you and Glenda now rest in peace together, and know that you brought about many changes in this part of the world.

Jay Thomas is managing editor of the Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at jay.thomas