New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 4, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4 ■ Wednesday, Jan. 4, 1995
•To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21
i t u n gOpinion
“We never reach the point where we can say Sve have arrived’ in this country in defense of freedom and justice for everyone.”
- ivy •<£ ■* * <*//*!¥> forme' gov O' Ktssssitt, ' .-Vo
Making positive impact is important
Goodnews for NE
I Purchase of Citizens Bank is . evidence of well-run bank
Many citizens may choose to look at yesterday’s announcement that Citizens Bank would be purchased by a Minnesote-based banking corporation as bad news.
Afterall, Citizens was the last independent, locally-owned bank in our community.
However, the agreement should be looked at much differently.
Citizens Bank, with its holding company New Braunfels Bancshares, holds assets of approximately $45 million and has held a well-deserved reputation of being a customer-oriented banking institution. The reputation was strong enough that a large, multi-billion banking corporation saw the opportunity to continue and strengthen those qualities while giving it a little more backbone for which to operate.
Norwest Corporation, the purchasing firm, has a committment to the communities it serves. As regional president John Stumpf said yesterday, "it will fit well with our philosophy of local marketplace decision making and Norwest's commitment to serve our customers and communities to the Nth degree.”
Plans call for the same friendly faces greeting custoemrs with the same folks making the same kinds of decisions as before.
In a time when bank failures and disappointments are still on the minds of many from the 1980s, it is refreshing to have seen a conununity bank do so well and to know that they believe in the same basic philosophies as Citizens Bank has always exhibited.
(Today's editorial was written by Mark Lyon, managing editor for the Herald-Zeitung.)
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In the first week of January, I wanted to share something special that I encountered over the Holiday, in the hopes that the central theme may spread. It is not a new theme, but a good one to remember at the beginning of a new year: The goodness, kindness, love and joy we express openly can spread. Perhaps we can overcome evil and meanness as much through spreading kindness as through punishing misdeeds. I am certainly not an advocate for excusing people from the consequences of their behaviors, and punishment is a necessary tool in my opinion. It is, however, not the only tool!
In Austin, on 37th Street just east of the Guadalupe is a moderate neighborhood with small but tidy homes. A number of years ago, one family decided to decorate the outside of their home in a big way for Christmas. Soon a neighbor did the same, and they strung lights across the street. This was against the city ordinances, so the city ordered these two families to remove the lights. The community residents protested, and the mayor allowed the lights. The community residents protested, and the mayor allowed the lights to be restrung. Since then, more and more neighbors joined into the street decoration project, and now there are oodles of lights on most homes in that neighborhood.
This street is now written up in the hotel guides, in the “What To Do In Austin in December” mag
azines, etc. There are lines of cars driving through, and scores of people and families walking to visit 37th Street! People chat with each other, and the spirit of Christmas is clearly evident.
This whole story started with someone doing something nice, and there is a lesson in how it spread. Good (as well as bad) spreads when people band together. There is power in good and there is increasing power in numbers as the spirit builds. This is the “Lesson of 37th Street.” Each of us can “be a light” in spreading kindness, love, goodness andjoy.
I encourage each of us to think of a way we can spread goodness, love, joy and kindness. For example, we can smile more at those with whom we come in contact, say at the grocery store or gas station. We can call people by name, ask them how they are doing and then wait long enough to actually listen to their response. We can thank people for the many little kindnesses that occur each day. A simple “thanks, I know you did that for me or to make my life easier” helps us to take time to notice the positives in our lives, as well as lets the other person know that he or she is appreciated. We can let a car merge into traffic in front of us, dim lights for oncoming cars, leave enough room between our car and the one in front of us, and get out of the left hand lane if someone wants to pass. We can greet our mate and/or children when they come home with a warm hug and a kiss. Be sure to tell those whom we love that we love them. This list is essentially endless, but it all hinges on noticing the good in ourselves and expanding on it, noticing the good in others and commenting about it appreciatively, and spreading kindness and
The second part of the 37th Street story is that there were homes which had not been decorated, for reasons unknown and unimportant for this purpose. The lack of some people decorating their homes did not hinder other people from decorating theirs. No one forced others to decorate their homes nor did they take on the “responsibility” to decorate their neighbor’s house. It appeared that people set out to do that which they wished to do (make their own place special), and allowed others to do it differently (not decorate).
This second “Lesson of 37th Street,” therefore, is that we can learn to work around those who do not join with us in our efforts to spread goodness and kindness. We cannot change anyone else directly, although our actions can result in others deciding to change themselves. If we have obstacles, we can seek solutions and alternative methods to get done that which we want to do, rather than giving up because of the obstacle. Unless other people are actively interfering, allow them to live their own lives. We do best when we focus on our own lives.
We can decide how we wish to live our lives, how we wish to treat others, and how to spread goodness, kindness, love and joy. Others do not have to do it our way or even support us in our endeavors. Good things spread as well as bad, and if each of spread goodness to those with whom we interact, we can truly make an impact in a positive direction.
(Dr. Logan is a psychologist in private practice in New Braunfels.)
The Republican constituent - suddenly with more clout
By TIM BOVEE
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Peer inside the districts of the new Republican House majority and you’ll find constituents who typically are considerably more affluent, less urban and less racially diverse than those of the Democrats.
For instance, a Republican lawmaker’s constituents earn about $4,000 more a year than those in Democratic districts.
In a typical Republican district, just one person in IO is poor, compared to one in seven in a Democratic district Republicans control two-thirds of the nation’s IOO wealthiest districts.
And though they represent more than half Ute country, Republicans count only one fourth of black Americans as constituents.
These are just a few findings of an Associated Press computer analysis of congressional districts that found two parties with very different constituents.
The differences are certain to shape debates about everything from
Today in history
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 4, die fourth day of 1995 There are 361 days left in the year. AToday’s Highlight in History;
On Jan. 4,1885, Dr William W Grant of Davenport, Iowa, performed what’s believed to have been the first appendectomy. The patient was 22-year-old Mary Gartside.
food slumps to lax cuts in the new Congress that opens Wednesday.
“Republicans will ask how to make people better off in their wallets than they were a year ago. The Democrats will respond in a way that asks people what they can do for their country,” says Rep. Pat Williams, D-Mont.
Actually, the demographics of the two parties’ constituencies in the House were barely altered by the election. About the only movement came in tile percentage of whites represented by Democrats, which declined slightly.
What did change was who’s in charge.
The COP now controls the committees and the House floor where decisions are made. That spells instant power for tile Republican constituency that, according lo polls, is concerned about taking a bite out of crime, taxes and government spending. The GGP agenda was tailored lo their concerns.
On this date:
In 1809,1 .oui.5 Braille, inventor of a reading system for tile blind, was born in Coupvray, f rance
In 1821, the lust native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, Md.
In 1896, Utah was admitted as die 45th state.
In 1948, Britain granted indepen-
At the other end of the power curve, suddenly, are millions of black, Hispanic and poor Americans who for years found clout among die majority Democrats that overwhelmingly represent them.
“The present mood toward the poor is very foul, and they don’t have lobbyists and PACs lo protect them,” says Democratic activist Jesse Jackson.
Already die tectonic shift in power is having an effect. Democrats ry-ing to move toward die politic..! center, no longer talk about expanding social programs but rather are devising their own plans for tax cuts, spending cuts and welfare reform.
Their hope, they say, is to moderate tile inevitable changes so that at least some of their constituents’ needs are addressed — embracing a sort of conservatism with fieart
“You’ve got to be able to do it in such a way that you protect those that ive most vulnerable in our society,” says Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., a key member of die Congressional Black Caucus.
Sounding his party’s themes, Mfume recently talked about “sensi-
dence to Burma.
In 1951, during the Korean conflict, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.
In 1960, French author Albert Camus died in an automobile accident at age 46
In 1964, Pope Paul VI began a visit to the Holy Land as he arrived in
live and meaningful welfare reform” and embracing "die realities ... that working clos * families do expect some kind of tax relief.”
The AP analyzed the GOP and Democratic congressional districts based on 1990 census data. It found sharp differences in the kinds of Americans the two parties represent — differences that have existed for years bul which lake on new meaning with die shift in power.
The GOP constituency includes just 8 million blacks, 9 million Hispanics and 14 million people under the federal poverty standard. Democ rats represent 21 million blacks, 13 million Hispanics and 18 million poor people.
Republicans represent none of the 40 congressional districts where at least a thud of die people are black.
On average, households in Republican districts have a median income of $32,615 compared with $28,577 in Democratic districts. Thai’s a 14 percent difference.
Seventy percent of Democratic constituents live in urban areas, com pared with just 58 percent of Republicans.
In 1965, poet TS Eliot died in London at age 76.
In 1965, Preside I Lyndon Johnson outlined the goals of his “Great Society” in his State of the Union address. In 1974, President Nixon refused lo hand over tapes and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee