Opinion

December 23, 2013

Misty Watson: Who would be my Person of the Year?

So Pope Francis is Time’s Person of the Year for 2013.

He follows others as Person of the Year such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill and Hitler. Um, OK, so hopefully Pope Francis doesn’t quite fit in with Hitler.

I’m not Catholic, but I’m really liking this pope. He is spreading love and humility. The Time article points out his washing of female prisoners’ feet, posing for photos with visitors at the Vatican, embracing a man with a deformed face and speaking in love to sinners and the lost. He also advocates breastfeeding in public — scoring big points with me and some of my fellow nursing mamas.

Seems to me, he’s pretty deserving of the title.

We don’t all have the resources to spread the love on a worldwide scale quite like the pope, and we definitely don’t have the prestige.

Several people, however, are being kind and spreading love and humility around Whitfield and Murray counties. It’s on a smaller level, but it doesn’t go unnoticed.

So it has me thinking, who would be my Person of the Year for 2013?

Of course my family ranks pretty high, as does Sophie’s sitter and her adoptive grandparents who we attend church with. But there’s more, those everyday people who don’t always get the recognition and thanks.

I was in Ingles one day. We were approaching Sophie’s melting point quicker than I had thought we would. She did great through the grocery store, but at the checkout began demanding it was nap time — both verbally and non-verbally. I got in the shortest line I could find and tried to keep her happy pushing the buggy back and forth and talking to her about how I understood she was tired. I was going to get her home soon.

The woman in line in front of me saw what was going on and offered to let me in front of her. It’s a gesture I was thankful for. With a toddler, three to five minutes can make a huge difference.

Then there’s my next door neighbor, Frank Lloyd. For the last two summers he has mowed our yard. We pitch in when we can, but he has handled the majority of it for us. He knows Chris and I have our hands full with a toddler and work completely different shifts, leaving us with little time together at home so one of us can watch Sophie while the other one mows. It was especially hard this year, when it seems as if it rained every time we had made arrangements to mow. We have received a huge blessing from Mr. Lloyd’s helping hand.

I can’t forget the deputy with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office who pulled me over around 10 as I was on my way home from work one night. She was courteous, kind, professional and believed me when I told her in all honesty that my headlight had gone out that evening.

To the person in line in front of me at Taco Bell who paid for my bean burritos one night when I had had a terrible day, you have no idea how that small gesture impacted me. I know you didn’t realize what a blessing I needed, but I’m glad you were there. I paid the random act of kindness forward many times over, every time in honor of your gesture to me.

So I name you Person of the Year. You, the one who took a moment out of your own busy schedule, your own hectic life, your own problems to show someone else a little love and kindness.

You give cynics like me hope.

Murray County native Misty Watson is a staff writer and photographer for The Daily Citizen. You can connect with her at mistywatson@daltoncitizen.com, facebook.com/MistyWatsonDCN and on Twitter, @mistydwatson.

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