04/08/12 — Spring renewal: Easter is a time to think about where we need a fresh start

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Spring renewal: Easter is a time to think about where we need a fresh start

This is the time of year when people's thoughts turn to change.

It is no wonder. Easter is the official start of the second chance -- the opportunity to start over. And, of course, spring offers the same sense of renewal and hope.

And there are many people in this country who think that is exactly what America needs -- a do-over if you will.

And there is reason to think so.

Sometimes it seems that this nation has forgotten what it stands for -- and the values upon which it was built.

This is a nation of people who are supposed to care for each other, and one where responsibility and standing on your own two feet mean something. Some people have forgotten that spirit and that work ethic.

There is also a coarseness in our culture -- a lack of civility that has led to some commentary between political foes that belies what a democracy is supposed to represent -- the freedom to believe what you choose and the responsibility to respect other people's right to disagree. And some of that mud has been thrown at those who choose to believe that this country has been founded on a set of principles that are worth fighting for -- and defending.

And our problems are not just found in the words that we speak. We are losing young people, too, as they try to find their way in a world that offers few role models and technology that allows cyberspace to replace human interaction and communication.

All that makes it sound like a spring renewal should send this country back to pen and paper and Emily Post's etiquette book. And while that might not be a bad thing, it is not reality.

This spring is a chance to think about what is important and what issues matter -- as well as about what kind of country we want for our children and grandchildren.

And when we determine that answer, we can take advantage of the time of year, the opportunity for a second chance, and start the road back. It might require remembering who we are, and expecting a bit more from our neighbors and our leaders.

It will definitely mean choosing leadership that deals in truth, not what sounds good, and that stands up for what's right, even when it is hard or politically unpopular.

It is the first step back -- and one that spring gives us the excuse to try.

We should not miss the chance to expect more for our families and from our country.

This just might be that second chance.

We sure do not want to waste it.

Published in Editorials on April 8, 2012 12:03 AM