Eagle Editorial Board

There is a marvelous video on ESPN's website about the friendship between Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron and his friendship with a fellow student with cerebral palsy (search.espn.go.com/aj-mccarron-and-aj-starr/).

It seems McCarron was driving down the street one day in 2012 when he saw two buses passes the young man by. So, McCarron stopped and asked the young man if he needed a ride.

The student got in the car and was thrilled to meet the star football player. It turns out the student's name is A.J., too, A.J. Starr. The two man bonded on the car ride.

Starr learned about life in the glare of the national media and McCarron learned about living with cerebral palsy. They began a friendship that continues; McCarron got Starr a volunteer position as an assistant equipment manager for the Crimson Tide football team.

No doubt A.J. Starr's life was changed by that chance encounter a couple of years ago. But we bet McCarron's life was, too. And, we think, the Alabama players who have embraced Starr have been changed also.

Something as simple as giving a ride to a young man struggling to get home made a huge impact on so many people -- including the thousands who have watched the video.

Wouldn't it be great if all of us took the time and made the effort to reach out to others? We could change the world for the better.

The news networks recently carried a story about customers at a Connecticut Starbucks who paid for the coffee for the car behind them in line. The "pay it forward" went on for more than three days.

People still paid for coffee, but the gesture of doing it for complete strangers brightened the Christmas holidays.

We live in such a generous community that supports Radio M*A*S*H, Food for Families, Twin City Mission, Brazos Valley Food Bank, the Salvation Army and so many other good causes, and we urge everyone to continue to do so.

But this year, why not add smaller generosities to our new year's resolutions? It can be as simple is paying for a meal for the elderly person at the next table of the service member across the restaurant. It could be bringing water and soft drinks to the good folks who man the recycling center or coffee to the crossing guard at the corner. A visit to a nursing home always is appreciated. Take a cake or some cookies to that new neighbor across the way. Take a friend who doesn't drive to run errands or shop or go to the doctor.

Mother Teresa said, "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier."

Our efforts can be more structured by volunteering even a few hours a week or month for a local nonprofit. They do so much for the community and our fellow residents and they always need help.

A list of just some of the nonprofits in the area appears to the left. Schools always are looking for tutors and other helpers. Hospitals and other health care facilities rely on volunteers for so many things.

By helping others, we find that we help ourselves. Our lives are fuller, richer, more satisfying and more fulfilled.

And when we reach out to each other, we change the world.

Mother Teresa also said, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other."

As the song goes, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

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(1) comment

John Ratzenburger

What a bold stand...

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