12/16/05 — Empathy: Injured students’ classmates show what it means to care

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Empathy: Injured students’ classmates show what it means to care

After weeks of waiting and worrying, students and staff at Greenwood Middle School have something to cheer about — their classmate is improving.

Carson Thomas has not had an easy month. The young man has been fighting for his life since he was hit by a car in mid-November. The battle has not been an easy one, and there were times when many people who followed his story were not sure if he would be coming back home at all.

Now, almost a month later, Carson’s condition has been upgraded to fair.

Even though it is an improvement, it is still not the news Carson’s friends and family want to hear. They won’t be happy until the 13-year-old is home again.

They have faith that day will soon be here, too.

This is a good time to think a bit about faith, Christmas and how miracles can happen every day to ordinary people.

It is also a time to ponder a little about friendship, love and how a tragedy can take a school and make it into a real family.

There are many lessons to be learned from what happened to Carson and his friend, Mack Wessels. Over the next few months, we will talk about unlicensed and uninsured drivers, and there will be a few discussions about speed around schools, too. We might even debate the appropriate punishment for an offense like this and how to determine what crime was committed.

Those will all be questions for the courtroom.

And then we will talk about preventing another tragedy like this — and what we need to do to keep our children safe.

But that is not all we should focus on as we continue to look at the case.

We should remember the kindness, the faith and the hope that seems to spring eternal at Greenwood Middle School. These students are not only worrying about their friend. Now, they are taking his family under their wings, too.

But they have never waivered in their determination that they will see their friends again — and that they want them to know they care.

And all without the prompting of any adults.

At Christmastime, we talk a lot about caring for each other. The Greenwood students’ actions should remind all of us that good works can come at any time of year, and that faith and friendship can make a difference.

These children really do have their priorities in exactly the right place.

Perhaps there is a very important lesson to be learned from them.

Published in Editorials on December 16, 2005 11:22 AM