Editorial: Bad news, good works

Reports of disagreement and dispiriting behavior by humans around the world — including right here in Rappahannock — are ever harder to avoid. If you have a smartphone, in fact, you can probably find several apps that will notify you 24-7 of repugnant events in your area, with a pleasant bell sound, within minutes of their occurrence.

Which is why it’s important to keep in mind — and in print, and online — the good works that many among us choose to pursue. This would include, for example, one Washington resident’s recent trip to South Africa to visit family — and to deliver some $1,500 that was raised here in Virginia to help a home for abused and abandoned children pay its bills. (See the letter from Kay Wilson.)

Aging Together's 2015 "Five Over Fifty" (including Linda Dietel, top row center).
Aging Together’s 2015 “Five Over Fifty” (including Linda Dietel, top row center). Courtesy of Aging Together

And the other day, Aging Together, the properly named organization based in Culpeper that helps support the Piedmont region’s ever-growing aging and aged population, announced its “Five Over Fifty” awardees for 2015. That short list includes Rappahannock’s own Linda Dietel.

Years ago, Dietel chaired the board for Sursum Corda, the preschool that became the Child Care and Learning Center, on whose board she also actively served for many years. She developed the idea of Headwaters, the organization that aids and strengthens the public school system in Rappahannock County, started a support group for local family caregivers and helped develop “The Link” community center based at the Sperryville Schoolhouse — among many other contributions to the local quality of life.

By all means, consider attending Aging Together’s fundraising “Five Over Fifty” dinner and concert April 11 at Culpeper’s State Theatre and congratulate Dietel on her many years of action taken in the service of others.

And, by all means, consider how spending a few hours every day yourself in the service of others might help counteract the debilitating effects of bad news.

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