Lions show compassion, common sense

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I’m still learning things I didn’t know about Andalusia and Covington County every day. Being around during an election year tends to help that process along too, for better or worse. But, I recently found myself in room full of people discussing politics to an extent, and I have to say – I was pleasantly surprised.

It happened during a normal Wednesday lunch with the Andalusia Lions Club, where I’m a member. Lion Kylan Lewis won’t mind me telling you he had the program that day and was telling us a heart-wrenching story about his adopted son meeting his birth mother as an adult. I thought his message was centered around the joys of adoption – and it sort of was. But, when I realized it was also about the fact that the birth mother had chosen not to abort her unborn baby, but rather to put him up for adoption, I’ll admit, I clenched up a little.

Abortion is a touchy subject, especially down here where I don’t think I’m surprising anyone to say that a room filled mostly with white men over the age of 50 isn’t always hard to nail down politically. That demographic makes up a large part of our club, and when the A-word came up, I braced for the fallout.

Now, this column isn’t about abortion. It’s about the clarity and logic I saw exhibited in the conversation. I heard statements like: “We have to find a middle ground between no abortion and all abortion.” I heard someone say, “I know I’m not a woman, and I try to remember that I am coming at this as a man.”

What I mostly heard was common sense and a willingness to compromise. That’s what this column is about. That is often what we should be about.

I’m not sure exactly where I fall on abortion. It’s complicated; it’s touchy; and I’m a man and can’t fully grasp what that feeling must be like for a woman facing that decision.

No one in the Andalusia Lions Club had an answer for the hotly debated issue either. But they sure had a great way of looking at it – with compassion and common sense.

Isn’t that what we need more of, not just in Covington County, but across the nation? Especially from our elected officials. With the primary election having just concluded hours ago, many of our local elections are in the bag. There will be, however, some more offices to be decided in November. We know none of the men and women we will elect will have all of the answers – especially when it comes to issues as complex as abortion – but, maybe we can try to elect some who have the compassion and common sense our local Lions possess.