Ran­dom acts of kind­ness, Dun­dalk style

The Dundalk Eagle - - OPINION - By NI­COLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Re­cently, I re­ceived a let­ter from Roy Plum­mer, long­time (now re­tired) main­te­nance su­per­vi­sor at Dun­dalk High School and 2017 Dun­dalk Op­ti­mist Club Hu­man­i­tar­ian of the Year and DRC Mile­stone Award Win­ner.

It im­me­di­ately jumped out at me, and I knew that I wanted to share it.

Roy writes:

“This is the Dun­dalk spirit I like:

Sit­ting at the red light at Weis [Mar­ket] on Ho­labird [Av­enue], a con­struc­tion van turn­ing onto Del­vale [Av­enue] lost part of his load of con­crete blocks.

I pulled up be­hind him to help pick up the de­bris; he was young and said an im­pa­tient driver made him swerve, which caused the shift.

A yel­low State High­way truck pulled up be­hind us, lights flash­ing and two guys jumped out with shov­els and be­gan help­ing us.

They were for­mer Dun­dalk High stu­dents and said they saw me and had to stop.

”Mr. Roy, I knew I would find a way to pay you back some­day for all you did for me”

It only took the four of us a few min­utes to clear the street. I got back in the car, and a tear ran down my face and [I] thought, ‘ Yup, that 30 years was worth it — if only for that mo­ment’.”

Roy’s gen­eros­ity is well­doc­u­mented, in­clud­ing in the Ea­gle’s own cov­er­age of his mul­ti­ple award wins this year.

But how many of us would have stopped? How many of us would have taken the time out of our busy day, when we didn’t have to?

If I’m be­ing hon­est with my­self, I can’t say that I would have. But maybe we should. And it’s not just this one in­stance. Sure, con­crete blocks are heavy and not ev- ery­one has the time or abil­ity to stop and help in that sce­nario. But we face many sim­i­lar sce­nar­ios across Dun­dalk daily, times when we could have showed our “Dun­dalk spirit,” but maybe didn’t.

Picking up a piece of trash on the ground, help­ing an el­derly per­son down the stairs, say­ing hi to a neigh­bor in­stead of look­ing down at your phone.

Last week I en­cour­aged res­i­dents to vol­un­teer rather than just com­plain, and I be­lieve that this topic nat­u­rally branches off from that.

Many peo­ple lament the loss of the Dun­dalk of yes­ter­year. But what made that Dun­dalk so spe­cial?

It was the friend­li­ness, the ca­ma­raderie, the small town feel.

And, yes, there are many, many so­cial is­sues — crime, drugs, etc., etc., etc — that make a re­turn to such a time dif­fi­cult.

But we can hold on to a bit of that Dun­dalk spirit through sim­ple acts of kind­ness and car­ing, such as the one demon­strated by Roy.

Such as the ones demon­strated by many vol­un­teers that run clean up groups and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, rec coun­cils and char­i­ties across the area.

Dun­dalk spirit is alive across the area, but it is up to us to nur­ture it and make it grow.

So in­stead of look­ing down at our phones, rush­ing from pil­lar to post with nary a look at the world around us, lets look up and smile, say hi, pick up that dis­carded soda can from the side­walk, hold open a door for an ex­it­ing stranger and stop to chat with a neigh­bor we see daily but never ad­dress.

Step out from be­hind Face­book, set aside the vit­riol and bit­ter pes­simism and let’s nur­ture the Dun­dalk spirit right here in our com­mu­nity.

Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the writer and do not rep­re­sent the opin­ion of The Dun­dalk Ea­gle or Adams Pub­lish­ing Group.

COUR­TESY PHOTO

Roy Plum­mer, hold­ing his 2017 Hu­man­i­tar­ian of the Year sign from the July Fourth Pa­rade, met Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R) dur­ing a fundraiser for the gov­er­nor at Con­rad’s Ruth Villa in Mid­dle River last week­end.

COUR­TESY CLEAN BREAD & CHEESE CREEK FLICKR

Vol­un­teers of Clean Bread & Cheese Creek ded­i­cate their time to mak­ing Dun­dalk a bet­ter — and cleaner — place.

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