Until just recently, when traveling northbound on I-35 and taking the Kyle exit, I kept passing a billboard from “PassItOn.com”.
The huge photo of President Abraham Lincoln graced the billboard, with the quote, “A house divded cannot stand.” Civility is in you, it further read.
Apparently, PassItOn.com has put up billboards across the county as part of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign.
Other billboards across the country have read, “Failed, failed, failed. And then …” Persistence. That phrase refers to Lincoln’s persistence in running for office, and eventually winning.
• “Never, never, never, give up.” – Winston Churchill. Commitment.
• Started nonprofit at 5. Fed 20,0000. So Far. Service, in regards to Joshua Williams, age 13.
• “When there’s only one race and that’s mankind …” – Garth Brooks. Love is in you. This quote is from his song, “We Shall Be Free.”
• “Girls should learn history. And make it.” – Malala Yousafzai, who has spoken out against the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education.
These billboards are all part of a push for PSAs from the Foundation for a Better Life.
And it is inspiring to see the billboards, especially in this day and age.
The Abraham Lincoln quote seems to be quite appropos these days. Civility seems to be on the decline. Online lambasting is prevalent, as writers don’t have to spout their words to another’s face. They don’t have to look you in the eyes and spout their nastiness.
There doesn’t seem to be a single story these days on the HaysFreePress.com website that doesn’t draw trolls making derogatory – and sometimes outright disgusting – comments.
What’s to be done? It’s hard to know.
In the past, I put some people making nasty comments about a high school athlete in “time out”, saying they could not comment until they could get their temper under control.
But the trolls have become so prevalent that there is not enough time in the day to take it all down.
It seems that the only thing we can do is to remain vigilant and remember that civility is within each of us. We can have differences of opinions, but we don’t have to call each other names.
That brings me to the point of saying that I have family and friends on the opposite side of the political divide from me. We talk, we agree to disagree, we continue on our business, having fun together.
It’s because we know that each person – deep in their heart – is good.
It’s something that we need to remember, about readers and politicians, about students and athletes, about those in charge of the county or the school district.
Deep down, they are doing what they believe is correct. They are working to try to make this a better world, trying to help students who might need a boost, or trying to make sure parents are healthy.
They are trying to get roads built and potholes filled.
Remember the lyrics of Garth Brooks’ song, We Shall Be Free:
I see the way this world shall be
When we all walk hand in hand.
When the last child cries for a crust of bread,
When the last man dies for just words that he said,
When there’s shelter over the poorest head,
We shall be free.…
When we’re free to love anyone we choose,
When this world’s big enough for all different views,
When we all can worship from our own kind of pew,
Then we shall be free.