Governor’s family kindles ray of hope in a troubled world |

Governor’s family kindles ray of hope in a troubled world

Amid all of the distressing news about the war in Iraq, genocide in Darfur, escalating violence in Gaza and nuclear threats from North Korea, one story this week offered a little bit of hope. Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. and his family traveled to India to finalize their adoption of a baby girl who, a year ago, had been abandoned on a side street in an impoverished area of the country.

The child would have died from exposure if she had not been taken by police to an orphanage in a nearby town. This week, that infant’s bleak future was exchanged for what will likely be a life of financial security and, more importantly, love.

The Huntsmans’ example of global compassion should be a source of pride for all Utahns. Instead of insulating themselves from the seemingly insurmountable poverty in a far away country, they have made a personal commitment to make the world a better place for at least one individual.

Asha Huntsman’s story highlights what has been a particularly poignant season. Despite the news coverage of early season holiday shopping frenzies, we have found that many of our friends are setting aside more of their holiday budgets for charitable donations and a little less for gifts. Many are donating funds to rebuild New Orleans, or sending packages to soldiers stationed overseas, or contributing money to fight AIDs in Africa.

In contrast to previous years, our celebrations and those of friends and relatives across the country seem more subdued this year. But, in our view, that is preferable to past concerns about growing commercialism of the holidays.

The Huntsmans’ gesture has reminded us of our own community’s good fortune, of the desperate needs of others around the world and the potential that every citizen, even a busy governor, has to make a difference.

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