Murray Bishoff: The glory days of spring

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Finally, a couple weeks of warm weather and it looks like winter is finally gone.

Weíve come to the point in our annual calendar where like the trees, activities are blooming in every outlet.

We have moved into the final weeks of school, where every school, every campus has an activity, a concert, and awards ceremony, and, in many cases, a graduation. Many opportunities present themselves to see young people show off their talents. Itís exciting to see the blooming of scholars, future leaders and artists taking risks and rising to new challenges.

Take a look at our News in Brief section for upcoming events and chances to enjoy these public presentations. Weíre sure youíll find many moments to savor. Your presence will also send a message, as an audience member, that encourages and supports those in the spotlight.

Your participation at the Odyssey of the Mind sale at Central Park Elementary or the Relay for Life at the Jerry D. Hall Memorial Pavilion, both today, supports valuable community efforts. Attendance at the Pierce City Arts Festival next weekend or the Monett High School Fashion Show on May 3 shows the arts matter, both for consumers and the artist, who often labors alone to make something worthwhile.

Coincidentally itís the same time that some of the less responsible citizens in the community make evenings and some days difficult for law enforcement. Thereís a sense that some characters literally wait for weather to change to break out the alcohol and the bad behavior that comes with it. Remarkably, officers learn how to stay calm, and their calm helps settle the characters that lose their own control and good judgment. Managing the rush of adrenaline that comes from answering call after call can test the most patient person, but officers, firefighters and emergency medical staff have to learn how to handle that stress to have any longevity in the job.

It, nonetheless, has to take a toll.

For others, the next few weeks offer opportunities to build community by helping others. Today is Serve Day for congregants at the First United Methodist Church in Monett, where participants go out into neighborhoods on specific projects, helping senior citizens, tackling beautification projects that just ďgot away.Ē Monett High School students will do the same on their annual Service Day on May 14.

You donít have to be part of a group to take part in a major undertaking. You may know someone who hasnít asked for help, someone who might not know who or how to ask, where you can make a difference.

These are the days.

We hear it listening to the police scanner during the day. People see things that donít look right, where an animal may be neglected, where the actions of an adult may look like abuse of the child, where a driver may be swerving all over the road. Those reports bring help. Not only that, the wall of eyes that see and share creates another barrier, another layer of protection for the helpless. Monett is especially good about that, and the help is waiting and ready to come.

So, as we head into the final weeks of school, with high school proms for Pierce City and Purdy today and Monettís prom next Saturday, we have an ideal opportunity to demonstrate what community means, practicing what we value, showing teens by these actions what it means to be an adult.

Proms are such an interesting exercise, a chance to share the joys of dressing up, of following the dating ritual in its most formalized patterns.

It may seem awkward at the time, but thereís a reason proms for adults continue to catch on. Thereís a level of fun involved that few other activities can achieve, and can leave memories for a lifetime, memories worth reliving.

These are the days, when we can shape community, when we can define our better angels, when we can teach others whatís important.

In the glow of spring weather, there are many reasons we look forward to this time of the year.

Murray Bishoff has served readers of The Monett Times since 1988. He can be reached at times-news@monett-times.com, or 417-235-3135.