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February 13, 2014 8:10 am

EDITORIAL: Lessons of love can be witnessed in our daily lives

Written by Ilene Olson

Love makes the world go ’round, they say, and Friday is a celebration of love.

While Valentine’s Day is observed primarily as a day set aside for lovers, the annual occasion also is celebrated by school children, family members and friends.

We’ve seen powerful examples of love in the Powell community. The Family page in today’s Powell Tribune features the exceptional love story of Anthony Polvere and Helena De Fina, who were married for 20 wonderful years before Helena’s unexpected death last month.

That love story has inspired others to reach for the same kind of love and commitment in their own lives and relationships.

Helena also demonstrated an amazing and all-encompassing love for the youth of Park County, working tirelessly to coordinate efforts to reduce drinking and drug abuse among young people in an effort to brighten their collective futures. She embraced those who shared that vision in the community, and even those with different viewpoints, bringing everyone together for the sake of youth.  

It was love that led Michael Walsh to set aside concerns for his own safety and search for his brother, Matt, after seeing Matt disappear in a cloud of snow during an avalanche on Saturday. It was the loving teachings of their father, Pastor Mike Walsh, and of their mother, Becky, that prompted both brothers to turn immediately to prayer for guidance and protection at a time of fear and danger.

Most teachers go into their classrooms every day determined to supplement their knowledge and ability with the love it takes to reach a child and to help him or her learn and achieve. When they succeed, those teachers often are remembered fondly for the rest of their students’ lives.

Health care workers, firefighters and law enforcement officers are examples of careers that most people enter because they have love and compassion for the people they serve. With that love, those positions often are considered callings; without it, they’re just jobs.

It is love for those less fortunate than themselves that prompts people like Phil and Pam Johnson to leave their Powell home once or twice a year to live in an area of Mozambique in Africa, without most of what we consider the comforts and essentials of modern-day life. This week, the Johnsons returned to Mozambique for the 14th time. They do this to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for the people they serve there.

An item on the Church page today tells of a young man who will spend the next two years of his life serving a mission for his church. Likewise, many other young people serve missions for their churches or for other organizations dedicated to helping people. That likely would not happen without love and compassion for those they serve.

These examples illustrate that love is much more than hearts and flowers. You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to recognize the power of love in people’s lives, or its positive effect on families and in a community.

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