During Monday night's City Commission meeting, Sheriff Buster Nixon spoke to the group about Sunday evening's robbery of the Dollar General Store. He explained that the incident appeared linked to a series of robberies around Central Texas, all targeting similar stores, and all following the same pattern. The bad news - we had an armed robbery in Mason. The good news - it would appear that the perpetrators are not from here.
We sometimes get complacent in our lives, believing that bad things don't happen here. We like to point our fingers at Houston and Austin and New York and say, "That's why I live here!" But, we forget that the same things that cause crime in the cities can cause crime here. No community is immune from greed, addiction, jealously, poverty or passion.
Crimes aren't committed "just because." Robbery occurs when someone doesn't have what they feel they want or need, and they are too lazy and desperate to get it the way most people do - by working. Murder doesn't happen because it's a Thursday. It happens because one person becomes so angry and passionate about exacting revenge against another, they take the most drastic measure. And we have people that have all those emotions, which means we also have those crimes.
And don't try to blame the times. I hear, repeatedly, that the times have changed and that those kinds of things didn't happen 50 years ago. However, all it takes is a glance back at the papers from those days and it doesn't take long to realize that bad things did happen. There's the report of a break in at the Cash Store. On another page, a report of a worker at the ice house found beaten within an inch of his life. And, there's the story in another issue of a shooting, during daylight, on the square.
Humankind, for all its advances and evolutionary superiority, remains remarkably the same. The same jealously that existed with Cain and Able exists today. That first murder, senseless as it seems, has been repeated countless times through the millennia. Our God knows that we are a fickle and emotionally vulnerable people. He has shaken His fist at us many times, visited His wrath upon us on occasion, and granted His grace to us more than we could ever deserve.
We don't have bad things happening here as much as in the big cities because we have fewer people. When you pile people on top of people, all the bad, and the good, are multiplied. You will see more instances of cruelty and injustice; but, also of kindness and tolerance. Sometimes, good things can be harder to find in the cities; but, that's mainly because there is so much to get in the way that our view can be blocked.
My point, though rather long in arriving, is that we need to be careful not to pat ourselves on the back and pretend that we are immune to the problems of the world. Crime affects us. Drugs plague us. Climate change threatens us. Intolerance haunts us. Like it or not, we are a part of the world, and it is part of us.
I take great pleasure and pride in the fact that I live in Mason. I can look around twenty times a day and find reasons to celebrate my life in this town. If I look hard enough, I can also find reasons to complain; but, I choose to live with the positive and work around the negative.
So, be vigilant. Though it pains you, lock your cars and your houses for a while. Be aware of suspicious behavior, and know your neighbors and be willing to share your concerns with them.
We have a great town, and the way that we keep it that way is by admitting we're not always perfect. Then, and only then, do we get a little closer to being the town and the community that we want to be.
It’s all just my opinion.