Not all who do good are recognized

Published 9:28pm Friday, June 21, 2013

One of my absolute favorite things about being a journalist is meeting new people — learning their story and getting to share it with the world.

Of course I love interviewing and visiting with those people who were once strangers that I now consider friends, but there’s just something about walking into the unknown — unaware of what stories or experiences someone may share — that makes interviewing someone new so exciting.

This week I touched on many of my typical beats, writing stories filled with details of both the Dallas County and Selma City School Systems. And while filling out a Freedom of Information Request and sending it in to the Alabama State Department of Education is thrilling in its own right, meeting someone face to face and hearing their story is on an entirely different level.

And there was one story that really stood out to me this week. On Wednesday I met a man who was being recognized for all of the good works that he had done for the community. Before a group of distinguished guest, friends and even some of his family members, stories were shared of all of the good, kind and selfless deeds he had accomplished. The man’s name was Howard Tinsely and he was honored as the Selma Exchange Club’s 2013 Book of Good Deeds recipient.

As I heard story after story — most of them funny and all of them filled with selfless, volunteer efforts  — I realized I was in the presence of someone truly special. For years Tinsely has worked to better this community, and he never sought praise, never asked for his picture to appear on the front page of the newspaper and never asked to be recognized. And after sharing his story, I hope  Tinsley is someone many in the community will recognize.

As I left the awards luncheon, I realized all of the candidates for next year’s award are already out there — working tirelessly to better this community, often behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.

I thought of all the people I have met in the past year that I would put on the docket to be honored for their community efforts; all those I have interviewed, gotten to know and those I see day to day, doing great things for Selma. It was not one, two or even five names and faces that instantly came to mind. That’s because there are literally dozens of people I would be honored to nominate to receive an award for the work they do to make Selma a better place.

I thought to myself, how great it is that we live in a place where good deeds don’t have to honored for people to do them. Selma is continuing to grow and move forward because of those who are working tirelessly and selflessly to see that our community succeeds.

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