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Tuesday , November 20 2018
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Home | News | Almost Gone: Time to Look Back, Time to Look Ahead

Almost Gone: Time to Look Back, Time to Look Ahead

It’s already November, and 2018 is very quickly ending. With that thought in mind, I think it would be a great idea to look back at some of my favorite stories from this past year and give you an idea of what’s coming in 2019.

This year was the start of the #MeToo movement and hashtag.

What saddened me was that far too many people either greatly discounted or ignored the stories of sexual assault and molestation coming to light today simply because they happened years, or decades ago.

I hate to say it, but we’ve decided to be overly selective as to how, and when we want to apply belief in situations such as this. Judge Kavanaugh is the perfect example of this.

Dr. Ford came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct from their time in University. This allegation led to two of my friends into one heck of a yelling match and saw the end of their friendship.

“We apply this standard to one class of individuals,” says Matty Sobiech. “When someone has violated the innocence of a child, regardless of how long ago, we want them held accountable. When it follows political lines, we say it was simply a case of ‘boys being boys.’”

Our mutual friend, Walter Broom had a different outlook on it all.

“It’s rather inconceivable that any such act would not be believed, ever,” he said.

Walter’s statement led me to talk about what happened to me when I was a kid who was trying to move from KXCR Radio to Z-93. Even though I told people what happened, nothing was ever done. You can read about it here.

Along those same lines, I’ve also shared the work of two individuals who are working to end bullying.

First, Miss Redd.

“I dropped my son off one day, back in February of this year,” she recalls. “When I picked him up, it was only ten minutes shy of the bell ringing, at 3:15 when I got a call from the nurse.”

That call, the nurse explained, Miss Redd’s son had been injured. They told her not to worry, that the bleeding had already stopped. How was she not to worry? How would anyone not worry? “When I saw my son, he had a huge hematoma coming out of his left eyebrow, sliced half,” she says.

“He was bleeding. His eye was so swollen you couldn’t see it.”

Miss Redd started Tutu’s Against Bullying. It was a great event! You can read her story here – Oh, and check out the pictures of the event here.

I also introduced you to Juanita Gandara, a former school counsellor who carted Zoila’s Words of Wisdom, and a great anti-bullying program for kids.

“The anti-bullying program is one that I wish I had as a counsellor,” she said

The program is geared, again, towards elementary schools and focuses on the five WOWs – or Words of Wisdom – are focused on improving a child’s outlook.

The WOWs are:

  • The Golden Rule treat others the way you want to be treated
  • Be your best self
  • If you’re angry, stop and think before you act
  • Communication speak honestly
  • Being a good listener

Recently she gave her first large-scale presentation at Red Sands Elementary School. To learn more about Ms Gandara and Zoila’s Words of Wisdom click here.

I’ve saved the best for last!  My most favorite story of the year was about Vera and Gerald Pratt.

While talking to the Pratts, I was struck by their marriage, their life when they first met, how and when they finally married. That story, this one part of their life, that’s what I’ve decided to share.

“We have seven children, and they are all wonderful. They are all happily married. And we have 37 grandchildren, and currently 87 great-grandchildren and counting. We’ll have three more by November,” said Vera Pratt

Oh, and they’ve been married for SEVENTY-THREE years! I can’t even imagine being married that long.

The Pratts have some great stories, and marriage/life advice. To read their story and watch the video of our conversation, click here.

WHAT’S COMING IN 2019?
The news has been full of so many negative stories this past year that it makes me physically sick. I want to get away from that in 2019 and focus on two different things.

First, I am going to focus on personal stories. Whether you know it or not, you have an interesting life, an interesting story to share. Everyone does. I’m going to search out those stories and share them.

Next, I am going to follow the “Year of Faith” stories I was working on this past year by finding stories that will strengthen our collective faith in G-d. These stories will cross both denominational lines as well as faith lines.

So, do you have someone I should talk with? Have a story idea for me? If so, let’s talk! You can e-mail me at Steven@EPHeraldPost.com or call me at 915-201-0918

About Steven Cottingham

Steven Cottingham is a writer, photographer, and poet. In addition to his work for the El Paso Herald-Post, he is a videographer for AJ+, is launching a weekly podcast based on his forthcoming book, “Leap of Fatih” which will be released November 2018 from HarperCollins. Through his company, Still Going Somewhere, he is producing a series of micro-documentaries with individuals who have survived the Holocaust. You can contact Steven at 915-201-0918, or by email at steven@epheraldpost.com. To learn more about Steven, visit his webpage at www.StillGoingSomewhere.com

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