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Strive to make 2011 a better year

By Walter Geiger I have been profoundly blessed over my lifetime. My parents raised me right. They did likewise with my two brothers and sister. My wife, Laura, is my biggest blessing and she blessed me with two wonderful daughters whom I love and cherish. I have been blessed with an interesting career. No two days are alike in the newspaper business. I have been blessed with a good education, superb friends, great staffs to work with, a fine church family and so many other things. I was not, however, blessed with good sinuses. For most of my adult life, it seems I have always had a least one half of my nose clogged. As a result of that, I have had two surgeries performed on my sinuses. The first was about 15 years ago. The second was last week. My most recent work was done at Upson Regional Medical Center and I must say the people there did their very best to make it as pleasurable a process as possible. I even got a thank you note from all the people in the operating and recovery rooms and the outpatient center thanking me for my business. Every nurse I met was a graduate of the fine program at Gordon College. All were caring, competent and cordial. We must not lose sight of what a great asset Gordon is to this region and it has the potential to be an even greater asset than it already is. Recently it has been easy to look at Gordon cynically. Most of that cynicism came about as a result of off-campus issues and incidents. Tighter enrollment standards promised next fall will help considerably. As a society, we must return to the mindset that a college education is to be earned. It is a privilege not an entitlement. The notion that anyone who can fog a mirror is college material is hogwash. I think Gordon has looked in its own mirror and seen the dangers of such a policy. We all tend to look at everything cynically these days. We are quick to blame and slow to praise. We anger easily and take longer to get over our anger than we used to. Sadly, many seem to enjoy kicking those who are down when they should be offering to help them up. A lot of this has to do with the economy. Many people are struggling. They’ve lost homes, jobs and, in many cases, hope. They are understandably bitter and their bitterness rubs off on those around them, spreading like an epidemic. But, back to sinus surgery. The worst part of it is having the packing removed. Surgeons fill the cavity from the tip of the nose to what seems to be the center of the brain with gauze. Three or four days after the surgery, it has to be removed. It is a painful process. When my gauze hit the catch basin, it felt as if a good portion of my skull and its contents went with it. When I caught my breath and the pain subsided, I told my doctor I was glad I had it done in the morning because, no matter what, my day could do nothing but improve from that moment on. I suggest we all look at life in much the same manner. Consider 2010 to be your packing removal moment and strive to make 2011 a much better year. We cannot control the economy but we can control our own outlooks. Make yours a positive one. It will wear off on others. Happy New Year!

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