Editorial: Help wanted: Good citizens to help build community

The Terre Haute Tribune-Star

It’s not easy to generate much fondness for the year gone by. Perhaps the best thing about 2021 is that it’s over.

Yet to be fair, it hasn’t been all bad. The amazing and highly effective COVID-19 vaccine gave protection and peace of mind to those who have obtained it. Unfortunately, too many people have not. And that is the primary reason the pandemic lives on to bring sickness and grief to those it infects.

Normalcy will elude us as long as there are those who shirk their responsibility.

America needs the help of its citizens. Recovery for our communities is something to which we all must be committed. Good citizenship is essential, now more than ever.

As we greet 2022, we offer these suggestions for making yourself a better citizen. Try a few.

• Donate blood.

• Get the COVID-19 vaccine, and if you’re vaccinated, get boosted. It’s free and easy accessible. If you’re already vaccinated, lovingly urge those around you who resist it to reconsider, for their sake and for those around them.

• Drive safely, with an emphasis on construction zones.

• Volunteer. Plenty of good causes need your help.

• Make a contribution to a local charity, and not just during the holidays.

• Read your newspaper. Better yet, subscribe to your newspaper. Yes, we know this sounds self-serving, but your local newspaper is the main source of vital information about your community’s government, business and public and private institutions.

• Use your local parks. They are beautiful places.

• Support community-based businesses. They need you. You need them. Now more than ever. The pandemic has been hard on them.

• Take advantage of cultural opportunities, which have become more abundant again. Visit a museum. Attend a theatrical performance, a concert, the symphony or a festival. Venture onto a college campus for something other than a sporting event.

• Be a good neighbor. Mend fences. Build bridges.

• Embrace the community’s diversity. Scrutinize biases or prejudices you may hold toward others concerning politics, religion, race, age, gender or sexual orientation.

• Thank a veteran. When the opportunity arises, attend an event that salutes those who have served in the armed forces.

• Tell public safety officials and first responders how much you appreciate the jobs they do and the risks they take to make our communities safe and secure.

• Express gratitude to all those front-line workers — doctors, nurses, health professionals of all kinds — who continue to give so much of themselves to help their communities through these difficult times.

• Be kind to animals. Adopt a pet from the shelter. Be a responsible pet owner.

• Respect the environment. Don’t litter. Take care of community resources. Recycle. Educate yourself about ways to help make your community more sustainable.

• Speak well of your community. Proud of where you live? Tell people about it.

May 2022 be the best year yet for you, your family and the community in which you live.