The other night I had a rare chance to sit down and watch some television. I was drawn to one of the “talent” shows that seem to have popped up recently that are looking for the “best of the best.” This was the America’s Got Talent –Champions 2019.

It was the final show and magician Shin Lim amazed me. His slight of hand had one wondering over and over how he did it. He eventually won the show but that was not surprising when one realizes he not only had won America’s Got Talent 2018 but had also fooled Penn and Teller twice, with one of those times being after he had injured his thumb and underwent surgery and physical therapy.

This young American showed determination, humility and grace. Winning $1 million in this latest talent show had the emcee asking him what he planned to do with his winnings. Beyond buying a needed new car, he was going to donate some of the money to cancer research because of a couple of friends who have had to face brain cancer in recent years.

To see not just Shin Lim but the other talented contestants perform was very uplifting. I was glued to my seat during most of the performances. It was, however, what came in between that has me shaking my head thinking about it even now.

Commercials.

I, along with many others, look forward to the new commercials that are unveiled around the Super Bowl each year. Those that are funny, sentimental or have a story line are what draw me in. Still others make me wonder what were they thinking.

A recent commercial that has me shaking my head is one that has a young boy with long curly hair dressed in a baseball outfit with a ball cap on. He misses the play and goes to his coach for guidance because he is having a hard time seeing the ball. The coach rambles on about whatever product is being touted by the commercial and when the kid asks what that has to do with seeing the ball, the coach says nothing and that he doesn’t know why he even gave the kid the useless information. Then he tells the kid to play ball and walks away. The information the commercial was trying to deliver didn’t stick with me but the moment of an adult not helping a child who has come to them with a problem but rather just walking away from the confused child and letting them fend for themselves is burned into my mind at the moment.

All I could think was what a sad message to put out there. Here is a child seeking help and yet is given none.

And while I understand this is just an ad, is it also a glimpse at what our society seems to have become? I remember attending school at Falls Creek Elementary. My teachers there would stay after class if needed to help a student who might not be picking up on a topic as well as their classmates. They didn’t just spout off some drivel and turn their back on the child.

From what I’ve heard about the teachers in the Brookville Area School District they are just as concerned about their students achieving their best. They help their students in a myriad of ways each and every day. The Brookville Police Department is making a connection with the youth of the area – talking with them and building a relationship with them so that every child knows they can always go to an officer for help.

Growing up there was a couple of homes that had senior citizens living there. I remember riding my bike down our dead-end street and looking over to one house to see the wonderful woman who lived there keeping an eye on my siblings and me. She watched us play and I knew if I needed help she would readily give what help she could.

That is the society I grew up in and that I see in the people of Brookville. It’s not what was portrayed in that commercial.

It’s too bad that we can’t use a little slight of hand like Shin Lim does and change to be more like what we find in many rural areas. Neighbors caring about each other, people working together for the betterment of the community, and communities looking out for the youths, helping to raise them up to be the leaders, the teachers, the explorers, the scientists, and yes, even the magicians of tomorrow. Instead it is up to each of us to do our part – look out for a neighbor, take the time to talk with a child, volunteer to help others.

In the long run it is up to us to create a society we want to live in and are proud to be a part of, no matter what the commercials may show.

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