Like A Seesaw
Off The Wall, December 31, 2010

During this time of the year, we either think backward or forward. That’s the wonderful time about New Year’s. I know, from what I remember, that The Latrobe Bulletin will document events that have happened from week to week highlighting activities through 2010. That’s been a tradition, and I can only imagine that is what readers come to expect.

On the other hand, it is also a time of the year to look forward, to put the past behind us and reform our ways and try to do and be a little better individuals. The way I see it, this is what I call the seesaw of life.

Many of us who grew up know exactly what that sport was all about. Two people took pleasure in sitting on a plank balanced by a pole in the middle. If the seated person on the left, using his legs, pushed the thick board upward, the person on the other side would go down. It’s as simple as that. So imaging being on one side or the other. Lets say the person on one side carries with him negative weight while the other, positive cargo.

With that in mind, I want to talk about what we can do to put more emphasis on bettering ourselves for the future, and leaving behind those bad habits that pulled us away from that which was good.

The first thing that weighs the seesaw in the wrong direction is what I have classified as “rumorizing”. Even though that may not be a word, I think the idea is understood. Hearing something, and then passing it along as fact without first checking to see if it is true is what is defined as a rumor. That personality trait is detrimental to our being, plain and simple. In doing so, we are walking away from God, and definitely not pleasing Him. We should all climb aboard the other side of the seesaw and do His will. Let me site an example.

Joey Vitle was a quiet man who always kept to himself. Living out in the suburbs of Chicago, he would daily take walks to keep himself as fit as possible. Surrounding his little town were woods and a stream that flowed through it. Several people had watched him go there as part of journey. Not knowing what made him tick, so to speak, residents would get together and make up stories as to what he did on his walks that weren’t true. They would then spread these rumors among friends. It is not what God wants, and surely, it is not fair to Joey. These folks were out to crucify him even though they had no evidence he was doing wrong. That is sinful and has to stop – period!

One thing that really bugs me is the outcry of many who exclaim, “Where are the cops when they’re needed?” My take on that whole matter is, it would be nice if our city budget allowed the hiring of 40 or more officers, but that’s not in the cards. We have a number of gentlemen who work hard at what they do. They can’t always be in the trouble zone, wherever that is.

Lets redirect our attention to the other side of the seesaw and be grateful that we have a well-trained squad that is patrolling our streets, investigating crimes, and on call whenever we need them. That should be the objective. Look on the bright side. We have capable men who are ready, willing and most able. That’s definitely a positive plus to the seesaw.

Be respectful everywhere and to everyone. Drivers, don’t do what you did last year, by leaving your high beams on while approaching traffic. You may be blinding oncoming motorists with those LED lights. Think and then act appropriately. Also, signal what direction you are turning. There seems to be a laxness of responsibility. Turn over a new leaf in 2011, moving from one side of the seesaw to the other, and let others know what you are doing.

And last, let’s remove that weight of ages past, thinking we can do everything ourselves without the help of an omnipotent power, and turn to God to help us with everything we do.

By beginning a relationship with the Trinity and the Holy Family, the New Year will be brighter, and opportunities will open up and life will actually take on meaning.

Many already who have had a relationship with God, know just by turning their needs over to Him, He has lifted their burdens. Begin this year in prayer and thankfulness for the many blessings that God has given you. His steadfast love awaits just for the asking.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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