Published 11:05 pm Sunday, June 24, 2018
To the Editor:
(About) the recent vandalizing of statuary in the rose garden adjacent to “On the Waterfront” restaurant; (the garden) was all created and is maintained by volunteers and donations. If suggests we take a moment to consider the volunteer hours contributed by the residents of Beaufort County. The number of hours provided by countless individuals to help those in need and to help maintain and enhance our area’s infrastructure is surely phenomenal. I would not be surprised to learn that volunteerism in Beaufort County ranks very high in the national average. This county’s volunteers are active in so many areas (health care, maintenance of public infrastructure, the arts, recreation, education, economic development and the work of civic and religious organizations). Each volunteer shares their unique talents, skills and positive attitudes for the benefit of others. This county is fortunate to have so many individuals with the willingness and ability to share such a wide range of talents and countless hours for the betterment of our community.
When one compares the volunteerism in Beaufort County to this incident of wanton and gratuitous destruction, it is baffling and disturbing. It has been said that a problem person is a person with a problem. These perpetrators are problem people who last self-respect and self-discipline. Rather than accept personal responsibility, the probably choose to blame circumstances and/or someone else for their tribulations. This act would not have occurred to these self-serving individuals if they had as much concern for others as they have for themselves. Aside from the damage done, the consequences are an affront to all those who are trying to help neighbors in need and to improve our environment. The perpetrators probably don’t read a newspaper or know a volunteer. Therein is part of the problem.
It’s good to read about the many volunteer activities taking place in our community, and our local newspaper does an outstanding job of publicizing these activities. I would suggest the activities of our volunteers need to be shared across a wider range of venues. For example, can we have more programs within the school system where specific examples and specific groups are recognized? Can we more effectively publicize and recruit volunteers at community festivals and activities and demonstrate their value to our community. These message may offer motivation for others to participate and to cause those with nefarious intentions to think about the consequences their actions will have. We need to encourage personal responsibility and to teach the benefit of being part of a solution, rather than being part of a problem.