Start shaking hands

Drawing a horizontal line across the southern United States beginning at Los Angeles, all the way to Myrtle Beach, S.C., will easily indicate some of the most beautiful and precious real estate in all of America.

 

On the West Coast are places such as Hollywood, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and other lovely locations where people spend zillions of dollars to live.

Here on the East Coast we have Augusta, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Charleston, S.C., Savannah, etc., sporting some of the best weather in all creation.

America is beautiful and has a reputation for generosity and tolerance. Southerners are known for kindness, honesty and hard work, with a penchant for peaceful, laid-back quietness and minding one’s own business.

Unnoticeable and inconspicuous is our evolution toward selfishness, vanity and carelessness. We are looking out for others less and less while becoming more self-centered with each decade.

At one time, door-locking and night-walking were optional, with safety not even a thought. Trails, paths and shortcuts that were fun are now trips of trepidation and fear. Stargazing and watching cloud shapes, once an interesting pastime, is now an exercise in caution with alertness lurking nearby. Footsteps and shaking bushes are calls for concern. Howling and growling, once puzzling and curious, are now signs to go inside or speed up.

Crossing the street when approaching unfamiliar, intimidating situations today is automatic.

Home invasions, robberies, burglaries, kidnappings, killings, bullying and other social ills are costing us our sense of civility and civilization. Drugs, vice and poor choices are permeating our society, making us strangers even to family and friends who cannot be trusted.

Leadership seems in short supply, and partisanship appears wider and deeper.

We must look inward to look out again, and stop pointing fingers and start shaking hands.

We made these difficulties, and only a collective effort on behalf of us all will change our trajectory and stir us in the right direction. We must become as beautiful as where we live and evolve – not devolve.

Tunk Martin

Edgefield, S.C.

 

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