The Spirit of Helping
by Rev. Mary Story
Church of Scientology, Flag Service Organization
These days it is hard to avoid the constant reminders that
the world situation is very unstable, even here in Clearwater
where the beauty of our beaches and city can make such
troubles seem far away.
Essays by young Americans, written just prior to the first
memorial for 9/11, provided insight into how the world should
proceed. In response to the question, "What do you think is
the one most important thing people could do to make their
community a better place?" a 14-year-old girl wrote:
"I think one of the more important things people could do
is to help others where they need it. Also to forgive other
people and not hate people. That way, the community would be
united. Hurting others would not be on their mind."
In another answer, an astute 9-year-old wrote, "Every day I
know that tomorrow might be my last day to live. But luckily
we have friends to get us through the times we get injured,
hurt and to make sure that if there is someone out there that
did that, they will find them and ask them to forgive."
Fortunately, many people today are willing to extend a hand
to help others in times of need. However, they often don't
know what to do, and feel unable to provide effective help.
Programs in the community such as the Community Emergency
Response Training (CERT) of Clearwater Fire and Rescue, which
we feature inside our pages, are invaluable resources that can
enable all citizens to effectively respond to others,
particularly in times of emergencies.
While we as a community need to be prepared for emergencies
and disasters, however, there are more insidious catastrophes
that are already taking their toll all around us: record rates
of illiteracy, drug abuse, crime and immorality never even
dreamed of decades ago; failed relationships and nearly half
of all marriages ending in divorce; and failed enterprises —
and the lost dreams that go with them — being commonplace.
While many people endeavor to reverse the trends and
improve our communities today, it follows that the most
valuable contribution we can make is to create a safe and
stable future for our children. Parents, teachers, others
concerned working together can build that future. We can all
get behind programs and solutions that do work.
There are many religious, social and charitable groups and
citizens throughout Pinellas County who are genuinely working
to improve conditions. In our pages, we highlight a few of the
many programs and activities that parishioners of Churches of
Scientology sponsor, support or applaud, including the
Volunteer Minister program, foster child assistance, drug
prevention, and other activities that are already helping to
build a better future for all.
As always, we welcome your comments and views.