To many, it probably feels like the miserable economy is all we hear about. Indeed, for many, it is all they can think about. This editorial is definitely not just one more media source harping away on the single topic of which we are all either painfully aware or profoundly tired.

Rather, it is a respectful observation not only of the obvious fact that these hard times reveal strong people, but also that locally they have revealed a deep culture of meaningful action and strong community. This is refreshing to report on, and maybe is exactly what has brought this country through these kinds of times before.

In this week's issue of the Record Pilot, we see that even as much of the media feeds on our fear that the world is crumbling around us, and many of our personal experiences confirm that to varying extents, the people in this paper actually keep the world going.

Not to overreact and consider the Great Depression as a model for our current situation, but stories from that time can be relevant and illuminating. Many might recall listening to parents or grandparents reflecting on that period of time and wondering, how did we live through that? How did we get from there to a better time?

The answer is probably echoed in this paper. Everyone kept caring and doing what needed to be done. Those who could keep going did. And those who were able, reached out to help their neighbors in need.

As of this week, the school has not yet found the extra funds it needs, but the Board of Ed meeting Monday night was full of citizens who came to try to offer their insight on how the district can still provide a proper educational environment. One resident donated money for a field trip. Many have donated their time consistently, participating in these meetings.

The City government awarded commendations and promotions Tuesday to two Auxiliary Police Officers who have consistently helped keep order and safety. And again, at these City Council meetings, many residents donate their time to notify their mayor, council and press of important issues in their community.

Kiwanis recently worked with students to collect enough pennies to actually buy sophisticated pediatric trauma equipment for EMS. Other "K Kids" brought toys to Schneider Children's Hospital.

The libraries are working to enrich lives, planning art exhibits, reading series and classes on everything from origami to computer use to advice on getting through this economic period and learning new job skills.

Friends Academy students sent care packages to American soldiers who don't get mail from home.

Mutual Concerns is serving Senior Lunches at St. Patrick's and working to feed those in need.

Getting back to the schools, it is impressive to hear about things like their photosynthesis experiments and mock congress. Also, we were told at the Board of Ed meeting that many classrooms already have or are getting the amazing SMARTBoards, which you might remember from election night on CNN. They are one of many dazzling items that the school administration presented recently which show how advanced technology and far-thinking concepts are implemented in the classroom.

These educational notes point to a bright future. And all of these community items prove we are in a present with a lot of positive action. For this, people should be very proud.

Matthew A. Piacentini

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