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Too often, we are distracted by the insignificant things that are happening around us. We fail to keep our sight on the greater things in life: peace, joy, happiness, love, and caring for others.

This leads me to ask: Have we lost sight of what makes America a great place to live and raise a family?  I was reminded of this while watching the ESPN channel’s ESPY awards. I had to hold back tears as I watched the family of the late Zaevion Dobson. Zaevion was a Fulton High School football player from the community of Lonsdale who sacrificed his life, using his body to shield two friends from a barrage of bullets fired in a gang-related shooting. Highlighted at the ESPY awards was Zaevion Dobson’s heroism, as his mother and her two other sons stepped arm-in-arm up on the stage to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on his behalf.

When Zaevion’s mother, Zenobia Dobson, gave her remarks at the microphone, she said to the audience “I’d love to stand up here and tell you even more about Zaevion than you already know – all the hopes and dreams he had for the future, all the things I dreamed about for him. But I feel the need to tell you something else.”

She said “we as a country need to take a stand to consider the effects of gun violence on families throughout America.” Thousands had gathered to honor those who would be receiving an award, but on this night attention was given to the words of a mother who had lost one of her sons to violence. Her words created an atmosphere of love and caring that was vividly expressed by the tears shown in the eyes of athletes and others in the audience. She stood before the world heartbroken, but able to find the stamina, courage, and belief to make this statement in hopes of stopping the violence before another mother had to grieve the loss of her child.

Her words remind us that we have lost sight of the big picture; that we should be showing compassion towards each other and working to protect one another, marching arm-in-arm toward the best future for all of humanity.

Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten