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Sat, June 06

Guest Column: Are you a builder or a wrecker during COVID-19?

(WNI Illustration)

(WNI Illustration)

During this pandemic I have noticed a stark contrast between two different kinds of people — those with hope, resolve, patience and charity, and those who throw darts of doubt, discord, judgment and blame.

A man I admire recently shared this poem, written by Charles Franklin Benvegar:

The Wreckers

As I watched them tear a building down

A gang of men in a busy town

With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell

They swung a beam and the side wall fell

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,

And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”

He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,

Just common labor is all I need.”

“I can easily wreck in a day or two,

What builders have taken years to do.”

And I thought to myself, as I went my way

Which of these roles have I tried to play’

Am I a builder who works with care,

Measuring life by rule and square?

Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan

Patiently doing the best I can,

Or am I a wrecker who walks to town

Content with the labor of tearing down?

“O Lord let my life and my labors be

That which will build for eternity!”

I want to thank all of you who are striving to lift and build and help others endure through these hardships. I thank you for assuming the best about others and looking for good intentions and acting with compassion. These are unprecedented times in all of our lives and I am grateful to those who understand that most people, including our government leaders, are doing the best they can.

To those in our community who criticize, judge and find fault at every turn -- and paint what they see with the muddy brush of politics — I ask you to consider whether your words and actions are doing any good.

It’s my belief that our local, state and national leaders are doing their best to pull us through this pandemic. They are not perfect, but they are also not deserving of the critical and often hateful words I see being posted by online trolls or the demeaning letters or comments submitted by armchair quarterbacks.

An author by the name of Bryant S. Hinckley taught his children, “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.”

This is not a time for partisan politics and closed minds. This is a time for unity. This is a time to lift. This is a time to be builders.

*Poem source: Originally published in 1967 in “The Songs of the Free State Bards” compiled by Vincent Godfrey Burns.

Richard Haddad is the News Content & Digital Media Director for Western News&Info, Inc., the parent company of Williams-Grand Canyon News.

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