EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 14, 2013

Editorial roundup: What others are saying

Here’s a look at editorials from other papers across New England:

Pay it forward

The concept of paying it forward, performing random acts of kindness for the simple sake of doing so, has been with us for some time. But the idea of seeking out 25 opportunities to make the lives of others just a little bit better is one worth pursuing in 2013.

Provincetown resident Ellen Rousseau decided to take the 25 days leading up to the Christmas that have been co-opted by the American advertising machines and devoted herself to performing 25 acts of kindness for those around her. She said her Buddhist beliefs helped inform her decision to do so.

Buddhism is just one of many faiths that espouse the concept of making connections to the world through actions. Most of the world’s religions and beliefs advocate making a difference in the lives of others. Even secularists have adopted the so-called golden rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It is a strikingly simple concept — so simple that perhaps it becomes easy to forget. Fortunately, it is also easy to remember, although sometimes more difficult to manifest in our daily lives. We seem to encounter so much negativity on a daily basis. Television, the Internet and newspapers are filled with stories about the less savory aspects of mankind. We learn about death and destruction as part of the 24-hour news cycle, sometimes hearing the same bad news repeatedly through different formats until we reach a point of emotional saturation.

This is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the steady litany of sad news; we become inured to it and we no longer experience the same degree of pathos or empathy that is so crucial to being a part of the world in which we live.

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