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MIKE GONZALES — PNG superintendent says fear can’t be our driving force

In confusing times many choose to question or criticize the leaders of a family, school, community and country.

When times get tough and the future is uncertain, individuals can fail to trust the plan for the greater good. The panic and anxiety created in these times can lead individuals to seek a selfish and self-centered way of thinking.

Feelings that cause us to lose trust and hope in each other are created by FEAR. Without love, trust and hope, FEAR can steal your peace.

Our great community, state and country has lived and survived many difficult and confusing times. Repeated disasters and disappointments have, and will continue, to confirm our community’s resilience as this world rapidly evolves and our society quickly adjusts to the fast pace living of today. However, it is still everyone’s responsibility to reach, teach and remind our entire community of the importance that family, respect and personal responsibility have in times such as these.

Anger, hate and resentment are just a few characteristics that keep individuals from being their best, and are also created by FEAR.

In the absence of courage, FEAR is present. I will not claim that I have never been scared, and that fear has not entered and incapacitated my thought process. But, at some point, we must use FEAR to fuel our desire to succeed and overcome any physical or mental adversity.

I remain optimistic and take comfort in these few sentences from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s March 4, 1933, inaugural speech. He said, “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Let’s go boldly forth with confidence in these unprecedented times.

Dr. Mike Gonzales is superintendent of the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District. He can be reached at 409-722-4244, extension 1722, or at mgonzales@pngisd.org.