By Don Rush

Peace on earth and good will to men.

Holidays always seem to get mucked up because some jack-wagon somewhere is hellbent to make a point by blowing something or someone up. (I don’t know why the world isn’t on Dandy Don Rush’s blue-sky and sunshine outlook plan. It outta be, but alas, it ain’t — damnit!)
I got to thinking — well, thinking a couple of things, actually. One, the ancillary thing is: Yep there is crazy in the world and yep, there is evil, too. More importantly, however, there is goodness on this earth and even in this country. Unfortunately, goodness doesn’t get good play or even pay well. Let’s face it, goodness, kindness and down-to-earth groovieness is not sexy.
Every day, little acts of kindness go on with nary a blink of an eye. Everyday, acts of bravery, compassion and courage are carried off by one person for another with no fanfare. It is in a word, common. We don’t concentrate on acts of mercy or humility, but we sure as Charles Dickens dwell on evil perpetrated by one or some on one or others. I get it, badness is hot.
Here’s the thing about news most folks forget:

News is only news because it is not the norm, it is different, out of the ordinary.

Therefore is reported. I think we forget that. As adults, I think we also forget to “report” on acts of love. Instead, we fall into the easy action of regurgitating whatever we hear from the hunky TV news dude. Lazily we re-tell bad news we have heard, without a thought or a balance of good.
Okay, be honest . . . how many of you on your social media posts, repost things which makes you mad? How many of you “share” things which attack the opposing political party or things of such cruelty you would not share with your mom or kids?
Admit it, it’s easier to be a Negative Nelly or Donny Downer when sitting around the kitchen table talking with family. Bad things and gossip are just more fun.
If I were to suggest one thing — how we, one family and home at a time — can start to make a positive difference, it would be this: Stop the gossiping. Balance the negative with the good.

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I think if I grow my hair and beard out for another 2 years I could look like Longfellow.

One of my favorite Christmas hymns is I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day and for some reason the song that kept on playing in my head this past weekend (Frank Sinatra version heard here). I reckoned there was a reason my subconscious thought about it. So, I googled it and here is what I discovered. Did you know the song was written on Christmas Day, 1864 by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Interestingly, the poem was penned as the American Civil war raged. How could that be? In the midst of all the death and turmoil, how could this man find hope in his soul to put these beautiful words together?

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men
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And now back to Geese

My own person lament about being labeled a Michigander by state government brought these reader responses:
Don, since your recent column concerns how people identify themselves, I think you should think again about referring to any newscaster as “the TV news babe.” It is particularly timely given the number of prominent people who have be caught in the trap of thinking of the women in their lives as “babes.” I don’t know what the women who are near and dear to you do for a living but, how would you respond to someone who referred to them as “the teacher babe” or “the doctor babe” or even “the supermarket checkout babe.”

Although I have lived here almost 24 years, I am not a Michigan native so I don’t feel I should have a vote in our identification nomenclature but, in this case, I think you have been a Michuganer. You might need a Yiddish dictionary to get the implication.
With your best interests at heart, Bob
And, from Delores, “I am not a goose – – I am with you Don. We’re all Michiganians.”

The debate rages on!
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