I believe in us — you and me

    Happy New Year! Let's think about that for a moment.

    When I read the Mail Tribune this morning, the top stories included a murder-suicide, an auto-related fatality, and a surge in the increasing number of Americans stockpiling emergency supplies for an impending disaster.

    Call me a glass half-empty sort of person, but that's hardly what I call a good start to a happy new, middle or end of any year. And that was one day. I dare not even delve into global concerns. Not enough space.

    As a native of Medford, I've seen our community hit with countless numbers of tragedies, accidents and horrific acts of inhumanity. Happy New Year? The jury is still out.

    And then I look closer.

    As I reflect on events of the past weeks, I've been witness to stories of inspiration: A dog, boxed up and left for dead by the railroad tracks, rescued and given a loving home; A caring stranger drives to the Medford Gospel Mission and signs over the title to the same vehicle that drove them there. Stranger helping stranger, as strange as it might seem.

    It is these acts of kindness and many others that mirror them that help restore my belief. In what? In us. In you and in me.

    So, no, my glass is certainly not half empty. I dare everyone out there to join me in filling yours.

    When things go sour, turn it to sweet. When everywhere you look you find chaos or despair, look closer. When you feel like you can't make a difference, feel deeper. Show amazing grace. Instead of looking for inspiration, BE the inspiration.

    So again I say, Happy New Year! Indeed, it is. And before you think I'm sitting up above the Foothills or Cherry Lane writing this, know that I am currently homeless, and my glass is full.

    — Larry Martinez is a Medford native.

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