Pam Stone | Despite Congress, people still know how to do the right thing

October 25, 2013 

Every night for the past few weeks, we’ve been given dire warnings by our evening news broadcasters concerning the government shutdown and the potential catastrophic economic result, which, I read a few days ago, will make the global 2008 financial collapse look like child’s play if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.

If this happens, one economist stressed, and we default, causing America to lose its credit rating and our interest rates go up just one percentage point, forget your tax dollars going to fund Head Start or veterans or repairing the roads – your dollars will go directly to China as we will be forced to pay down the interest on that debt.

Oh, and your mortgage payment will rise. As will your car payment. As will anything else you have financed.

You know what I think? I think we need to hear some good news. Go pour you a coffee, grab a pumpkin spice doughnut and I’ll wait. Ready?

There’s a high school football coach in Paulding County, Ga., who has decided there is more to being a team than offense, defense and championship titles.

Scott Hamilton’s football team also includes special needs students.

It’s a delightful surprise for the student Hamilton chooses from within the school to take part in all the team’s activities for the week: being present on the field during practice, attending the pep rally, riding the team bus to the game and the very best part – being a part of the herd of players as they leap through the banner and onto the field on game day, all while proudly donning the prized “Player of the Day” jersey.

“It’s really a highlight of my day every day to watch them come out and go through the tunnel,” Hamilton explained, while being interviewed on the “Today” show.

Imagine what it means to the parents of these special needs students as they receive the heart swelling opportunity to watch their children having the chance to be a part of the whole – something that had eluded them if not for Hamilton.

Stressing inclusivity, it’s clear that this coach has larger life lessons to teach the young men who play for him during the school year.

“I’m trying to show these boys how to be men,” he declared. “You can be a tough guy and still have a compassionate side.”

I’m delighted to see Scott Hamilton getting the recognition he deserves. Not because this self-effacing gentleman needs the public pat on the back or celebrity hoopla that comes with the territory. But because one good idea can spawn dozens more and, if nothing else, perhaps every high school in the country will be inspired to follow his lead and look for new and creative ways to make every student, regardless of their needs, feel special.

Ain’t it nice to know, in this time of Washington buffoonery, that some people know how to do the right thing?

Reach PAM STONE at pammstone@gmail.com.

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