Tom Sheehy

Here we are a full week into the new year. I made several resolutions and have been able to keep them, so far.

As I was thinking about this article, I decided I would try to present a positive perspective in the future columns I write. I also decided I would be patient and I would always try to be polite in my daily interactions with family, friends and others that I meet.

Be positive



This year I plan to focus on events and people that help to make Florence and the Pee Dee area a wonderful place to call home. it is sometimes so easy to point out the shortcomings of others, when all we really need to do is look in the mirror before we lament about others.

On the front page of Jan. 2, 2020, edition of the Morning News, the efforts of some of the deputies of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office were highlighted in their efforts to keep us all safe. Those officers should be commended for fulfilling what I consider one of their primary responsibilities when enforcing the law: keep us all safe. Some people might believe it is about collecting money and not about the safety of all of us. Those who violate the laws endanger all of us, and the violators need to be convinced to obey all of the traffic laws. So, thank you to all the various law enforcement agencies for their efforts.

Hopefully, we all will support their efforts but also request their increased efforts to convince everyone to obey the traffic laws, including speed limits, stopping at stop signs, using turn signals and having two working headlights. We all need to remember the danger is not just to the traffic law offender but to all of us.

Be patient

Patience has never been one of my strong points. The suggestion of being patient came from my 8-year-old grandson and my 13-year-old granddaughter as we were playing a game of Scrabble. Whenever we would try to prod my grandson into hurrying up to lay down a word, he would remind us to be patient. Even when my wife filled in for me during the game, he still requested us all to be patient.

What I need to remember is don’t rush to conclusions. Patiently gather all of the facts and only then make up your mind. Remember what you read is often nothing more than another person’s opinion. They might be 100% correct, but then they might not be. Patiently try to gather the facts yourself. I fully realize that it is difficult on some of the bigger issues, and often the landscape is clouded by big-name opinions, so dig hard to get the facts yourself and only then form your opinion.

Be polite

Here’s another easily stated resolution that should be very easy to live up to! As always, though, the proof is in the pudding. This requires much more than the obvious. Step back and allow the other person to go first, hold the door open for another no matter their age or gender, look them in the eye when you say thank you and, most important, mean it when you say it. Let your smile be the message, because that means as much as the words. Help someone because they need assistance, such as getting the product off the top shelf because they can’t easily reach it. When you see a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or service member (current or veteran), thank them for what they do or did to help protect your liberties.

The key to any resolution is the person who made it. The success of the resolution lies with yourself. We all have our faults. However, remind yourself each day that you are going to be more positive, be patient, reduce the stress in your life, change your attitude and practice active gratitude. You never know when that act of kindness, a smile, a hello or just listening can help other people get through their day or through their issues.

To all my readers, friends, and family, my wishes for a very happy new year.

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Citizen Columnist Thomas J. Sheehy retired from the U.S. Army following 26 years on active duty. He and his wife of 48 years moved to Florence in 2009. They have two sons and four wonderful grandchildren. Contact Sheehy at

citizencolumnist@florencenews.com.