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Some things I have been learning
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It is IRS time and I've been putting together information to take to the CPS who has figured Taylor taxes for decades (one thing I have not completely learned).

Surprisingly, I admit my gratitude that, even with a limited income, I usually must pay some extra dollars. That means that I have had money to live well enough and have something left.

Fortunately, I don't have huge medical bills or credit interest payments and I do have rather simple tastes.

Maybe that's the reason it's hard for me to understand why some of those who have so much want to pay so little. I have learned that greed begets selfishness - or is it the other way around?

Speaking of gratitude, I find myself being consciously thankful when things "work." Hot water still flows from that old tank; my car starts even on cold mornings; although slow, the computer eventually allows me to send and receive e-mails.

Because my close relatives all have responsibilities far more important than their concern for me, I am more and more aware of how dependent one can be on daily "creature comforts."

As the Dawson County High School girls competed for the state Class AAA basketball title, we all learned that winning that title was not the most important part of the effort.

Local media coverage demonstrated how much support the entire community had given and how much pride everyone felt in their friendship, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Those elementary and middle school children who participated in the team's send-off will not remember that it was a runner-up trophy which returned, but that their friends were champions. Important lessons for all of us.

In watching the Catholic Church's selection of a new Pope, we have also learned how a real leader emerges. Even amid pomp and ceremony, true humility and unselfish service became evident.

The prayers of all Christians and people of goodwill go with Pope Francis I as he will undoubtedly continue to exhibit traits of St. Francis of Assissi, whose name he chose and whose well-known prayer (my long-time favorite) articulates basic principles of true goodness.

The choice of Cardinal Bergoglio also validates the value of relevance and of compromise. In Vatican City, where Italians and Europeans are sensitive to their prior prominence, and in a world where other areas are becoming more dominant, this man combines Italian heritage with Latin American citizenship, a combination that calms instead of confronts.

Despite his simple lifestyle and insistence upon working among the poor and down-trodden, he has not abandoned traditional practices of his faith. Apparently, he views the world in its reality and, instead of ignoring the problems, strives to make things better.

Perhaps we could learn more from this man.

The original main topic of my column about learning was intended to be about who is paying certain bills. But events on the calendar interfered, were more immediately relevant. And now my space is filled. So I hope to share that bit of knowledge another day.

Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.