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Greg’s Corner

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

Editor’s note: Greg’s Corner is a section for our Thursday edition where Messenger Reporter Greg Ritchie shares odds and ends from the job and unusual or interesting facts from across the world and across time.

MESSENGER OFFICE – Like everyone else, I have good days and bad. It is a lot of work to put together a newspaper, and there can be long days trying to cover all of the stories. Houston County is a big county, and running from one side to the other and then covering an evening meeting or sporting event can leave you pretty tired by the time you get home. The dog will never understand the long hours, but thank God the wife does.

Just about the time I think about griping, I remember some of those folks I write about. The guys volunteering at the fire department. The fine fellows watching the cattle, cutting the timber or keeping the lights on. 

Our culture has become so obsessed with celebrity, riches and – quite frankly – unimportant nonsense – that it’s easy to forget the people that keep the whole thing going. Ronald Reagan once said, “The people that say there are no more heroes – they just don’t know where to look.”

This job puts me in contact with people in all walks of life. Rich and poor, young and old. I speak with the “powerful,” and the people whose lives sometimes mean so much more to our society. 

Anyone who gets out of bed every day and works for their family is a hero. Anyone who donates their time to help others, gives to their church or helps their community – is a hero. 

Our history books are full of the great names of those who came before us. George Washington. Andrew Jackson. George Patton. What would any of these men have been without the thousands of nameless “little” people who fought the wars? Cooked the food. Led the wagons. Drove the tanks. 

I hope our country will re-learn that lesson. Success should be defined by who you are to the people around you. Look up to people that build or create. People who preserve and defend. 

Our media and internet love to celebrate the famous misfit or the overnight millionaire. But you can’t take it with you. I never saw a hearse with a U-Haul®. 

During the years I lived overseas, an old man on a park bench once shared some wisdom with me that I have kept all these years.

“Life is like a supermarket, young man. You pay for everything on the way out.”

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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