• 61°

Patrick Gannon: Seeking peace in troubled times

RALEIGH – The holiday season should never be sad.

But as I read and watched all of the bad news unfold the week before the holiday, it was hard not to feel that way.

I was going to write this column about Medicaid expansion or Gov. Pat McCrory’s war with the media or some other everyday topic in North Carolina government.

But they can wait.

This past weekend, I watched my 4-year-old daughter play ping pong for the first time with her grandfather. It came after a week when the news featured horrible story after horrible story.

She whacked that ball back and forth, smiles beaming from her face. Tennis lessons in her future, my wife and I agreed.

Then I started thinking about that future. She had no idea that two cops had just been assassinated in Brooklyn, where her uncle used to live, or that more than 130 kids not too much older than herself had been murdered days earlier in Pakistan, or that North Korea apparently is threatening the United States — over a movie.

What world will she grow up in?

That’s where we all come in. No, we can’t stop all violence from occurring. We can’t always stop crazy people bent on destruction from having their way.

But we all can control our little spaces. We can treat the people we encounter with respect. We can buy coffee for the person behind us in the drive-thru. We can choose not to push send on the mean-spirited social media post.

We can stop blaming everyone else for our shortcomings and strive to get better. We can put ourselves in other people’s shoes. We can hear the other side of the story and respect it, even if we disagree.

We can make resolutions for the new year and keep them. We can take our dogs on longer walks. We can spend more time with our families and less with our phones. We can drive a little more sanely.

And we can play ping pong with our kids. They deserve it, and we need it today more than they — hopefully — will ever know.

Patrick Gannon writes for Capitol Press Association.

Comments

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill