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Behind the Badge: “Dear Santa”

 

Santa_CoasterBy JOSEPH PANGARO

Dear Santa,
My name is Amanda, I’m 7 years old and I live on the Jersey Shore. I was watching TV last week and on the news I saw a lot of people yelling and screaming that the police were bad and that they do bad things. I asked Mommy and Daddy if that was true and they said I should ask you; so, are the police good or bad and will they protect me?

Dear Amanda,
That is a very serious question you ask and it deserves a very serious answer. First let me say that it makes me a little sad that so many people seem to be angry with our police officers; second it makes me even sadder that such a sweet young child as yourself has to be concerned with such a thing; it speaks to the turmoil of our modern lives.
The world is not a simple place Amanda, it is a very complicated place. With so many different people and so many different ideas about how we should live it can get very confusing. People can misinterpret things and situations and then react to how it makes them feel instead of how things really are.
I can only imagine that you have had arguments with your little friends about something that seemed so important to you and them, but in truth both of you were a little bit wrong because you didn’t know the whole story. Grown up people are like that too; they don’t always have all the facts, but that doesn’t stop them from having an opinion about a situation even if they are totally wrong. What makes things worse is that there are lots of adults that don’t want to know the truth; they really only want to believe what they have been told or what they think they know. These kinds of people almost always end up on the “Naughty” list because they should know bettter.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, there are another whole group of people that will use a situation to twist the truth for their own benefit and then lie to try and make other people believe it to no matter who gets hurt. There’s a list for these kinds of people too, but it’s not Santa’s list, it’s a much more important list and they will have to answer for their actions one day to someone a lot bigger than me.
Sweet Amanda, I don’t mean to get off track, but like I said your question is a complicated one so let me get back to it; are the police good or bad and will they protect you?
The best way to answer that is to tell you an important thing about seeking the truth. That thing is this: actions speak louder than words. Always look at what someone does and not at what someone tells you someone did. By looking at deeds and not words we can get a true understanding of what a person is all about.
A good example might be found right in your own home. Say you were yelling at your baby brother over a TV show and mommy told you to stop, but you kept yelling. Well any mommy would most likely be mad at you and even punish you by sending you to your room. I am sure this would not be fun for you and it would most likely make you sad and maybe even make you think your mommy didn’t love you anymore, but that would just be a feeling, not the truth.
If you were to act out on what you thought was the truth you would be very wrong indeed. So our lesson here is this, we must look beyond our own beliefs and feelings and examine facts. Feelings are good and they have a wonderful place in our lives, but we cannot be ruled by our feelings; if we did that we would be in a very bad place. We might find ourselves doing and saying hurtful things to people who care about us and sacrifice for us all because we didn’t know the truth and we acted on what we believed instead of what was real.
Let’s think of those people you see on the TV that are yelling and screaming about the police being bad. They might have a good reasons to be mad at an individual police officer, but they go wrong when they believe all police officers are bad and they go really wrong when they act on those ideas.
Sometimes people can be mad at the police simply because the police had to do their duty. It’s not an easy job being a police officer; they have to make a thousand decisions a day about how to react to people that are doing dangerous things, or making bad choices. Sometimes they meet people that want to hurt other people; this is very hard for the police to deal with. Most police officers are very good people and the last thing they want to do is hurt someone, but sadly our police officers don’t always have a choice, and in fact most times the people doing the bad things make the decision and it’s our officers that have to take action to protect themselves or someone else. It is always sad when someone gets hurt, and police officers are just like you and me; they get sad too, especially if someone gets hurt. But the truth is this; if the officer wasn’t there it might be me or you or your mommy or daddy that got hurt. We should all be grateful the police men and women care so much about us that they choose to do this kind of work.
Yes Amanda your question is a complicated one, especially now in the times we live in. So many people seem confused about what is right and what is wrong now-a-days, and even more people are trying to change everything about how we live our lives no matter what that does to us. Change is good for a lot of things, but not everything.
If we look around we can see how much good change has been made; people can now love whoever their heart tells them to love, and we treat people fairly, listening to what others think. We can try new things, learn from each other, see things from other people’s points of view and we can make amends for things we have done wrong, but we must move forward.
Unfortunately Amada, there are some people that don’t see the good changes or they choose not to see the good changes. Either way they sometimes push so hard that they end up hurting all of us and try to make us believe everything is wrong; and this is not true.
We are a good people, a generous people, a people that have sacrificed for the entire world, not just once but many times. You may not know all of this because they don’t always teach these truths in schools any more. Instead they believe that teaching about our failings is more important than teaching about how we have recognized when things were not right and fixed them and ignoring the wonderful things we have done to make the world a better place, a safer place, a place where a wonderful little girl like Amanda can grow up just as proud of her history as she is with all the good change in her world.
This brings me to our police and your question dear Amanda. I told you that to see the truth about people you have to look at what they do; here is the answer.
Our police officers come to work every day to do good. They leave their families behind to walk our neighborhoods, patrol our streets and answer our calls for help. They run towards danger when everyone else runs away, they work in the dark of night so you and your family can sleep safely, they challenge evil where ever it is and sometimes they sacrifice everything to protect us, giving their very lives in our names.
Our police officers do this every day, in every town and city in our country. They do it with honor, they do it with courage and they do it with a dedication born of their chosen profession and commitment to each one of us. This my dear Amanda is what I see when I see our police officers. These selfless acts of service represent the truth of who our police officers are, and anyone who chooses to see it, can.
Yes Amanda police officers are good, they are very good; that you can believe, not because I said so, but because you can see it with your very own eyes every day. It is because there are Amanda’s in the world that life is good; and it is because life is good that our officers will always protect you.

Merry Christmas to you and your family,
Love Santa

 
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