Christmas 2013 is over and we now look at a new year before us. In fact, by the time many of you get this paper, we will be into 2014.
Our family had a wonderful Christmas but my heart goes out to those who have experienced sickness and death during this Christmas season. My sympathy especially goes out to the McAlilly family, who lost a family member when he was gunned down while trying to prevent a bank robbery in Tupelo. He left a wife and two small children and I am hurt myself because I know them to be a super family.
Many people would have been excited with a “White Christmas” and I was excited without one. However this week has been one of the most disagreeable weeks I have seen in a while. I have stayed cold when I walked outside and not only cold but wet as well. I solved the problem the best I could by just staying inside as much as possible.
I hope each of you enjoyed Christmas and are fully aware of what Christmas is all about. The One we honored will be with us throughout the year if we will only let him travel with us.
Last year about this time I shared some of my hopes and dreams with you. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but, like many of you, there are some things that I wished for in 2013. The following is just a few of my wishes and my evaluation of them:
n I very much wish that the people of our world could learn to live together in peace regardless of our differences. How I wish I could say that I thought progress has been made but I am sorry to say that I see little or no progress. Everyone has an opinion and it is the only opinion. In a Democracy there has to be room to give and take. I continue to hope for this as we begin 2014.
n I would like to see peace come to regions of the world where our troops are now in harm’s way and the soldiers are able to come home. I feel there has been some progress but we are a long way in achieving this goal.
n I would love to see the day when no child goes to bed hungry and would not have to fear for what some adult may do to harm them. According to statistics that I have read we are long way in meeting this goal.
n My new goal for 2014 is that children can attend school without the fear of being shot.
While far from the first school shooting, the last one has aroused the concern of many people. To see the cemetery fill up in New Town, Conn., with the bodies of 20 six-and seven-year-old students, six staff members, the shooter and his mother was just about more that people can take.
Now the discussion is taking place all over the country on how to improve security in the schools. Some have advocated that teachers be trained and allowed to have weapons in classrooms. If I were a parent that is when my children would be home-schooled. Others have advocated that schools employ security officers who are trained and allowed to have a weapon. I can agree with this. I am sorry I have to agree but it seems the choices are few. Several years ago I traveled with a group of school administrators to schools around the country in order to observe innovative ideas in schools. In a high school in Pittsburg, Penn., I saw armed guards in the halls of the school. I vividly remember saying that we would never see this in schools in Mississippi.
I was wrong.
While I realize that these are lofty wishes, they are my wishes. I trust that 2014 will see some of my wishes make progress in being a reality.
Thank all of you for reading this column. I have enjoyed visiting with you in print for some years and look forward to writing this column each week.
Have a great 2014 and may the love of God rest with each one of you.
Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and a United Methodist Minister. He is Pastor of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Calhoun County. He is a member of and President of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him at P.O. Box 337, Bruce, MS 38915 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.