Please welcome Thomas Krepps, our guest contributor to the Crofton is Kind blog. Tom is a longtime resident of Crofton and the Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Defense Highway.
The first time I heard about this group, was after an incident at Crofton Middle School. Devon Hale Smith, asked for prayers, and let us know that people would be at the Middle School to write messages of encouragement on the sidewalks. I showed up, and though I couldn’t write anything (bad knee, and the fact that since I work on the computer: I’m not sure I know how to write anymore) I was amazed to see the turnout, the love, and the community spirit that night. I was also blessed to have met many people from our community, as well as staff from the school.
But even before this night, I believed Crofton is Kind. 5 years ago our house burned to the ground, there was very little left. But as we sorted through the debris, people came to help, people who didn’t even know us, but who had seen the reports. People from our faith communities showed up and helped in ways I cannot even begin to describe. Our church set up a fund, and donations came from many in Crofton. See! Crofton is Kind!
Is Crofton perfect? No! Do we face challenges that are both unique and reflect what is happening in our society? Yes. I am a mid-level Baby Boomer. I have often said: “I think my generation owes this present one an apology.” Why: we thought we were going to change the world, turn hate to love, and bring in a new age. Now that I am old enough to be a grandfather to most of the parents who have kids in our Middle School, I realize the fight still goes on: racism, sexism, religious and sexual differences still divide us.
I could say more: but here is my hope: that we can use this group to move forward, that we can learn to be kind to, and accept one another. That begins with being able to listen, to talk to one another, to move past labels. I believe we each have to answer that in our own way, and be willing to realize maybe we still have some area’s we struggle with. The struggle is OK, if we are willing to admit it to ourselves and then to each other. Then, we reach out, we make friends, we begin with the words, “I am Kind,” and then we say, “Crofton is kind,” because we are all willing to try kindness. And if Crofton is kind, then Gambrills is kind, and Odenton is kind, and it could go on and on. It starts with each of us.
-Thomas Krepps, C. 2017