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Commentary

It’s time to keep it civil in the best place I’ve seen

Contributing writer

From May 25, when I left for Haiti, to July 25, when I returned from Southern California, I spent 34 days on the road this summer.

When I posted that on Facebook, a friend jokingly asked, “Do you remember where you live?”

I replied, “Yes! The best place I’ve seen.”

I’ve had an opportunity to read the newspapers and talk with friends on the weeks I’ve been home.

It seems that a considerable amount of time and effort these last couple of months has been spent on tearing Marion down.

It is truly sad to see a community that I love treated with such disrespect and disdain. We as a community are better than this, and it is high time we begin to expect a certain level of civility from one another.

When I was traveling, people who didn’t know Marion would ask me what Marion was like.

I would tell them these things: It is a great town, the people are kind and friendly, the schools are great, the hospital is state of the art, the community is safe, and people care for one another.

When an ambulance went by one of the places we were staying, my wife commented to our friends that if we were in Marion we would get on Facebook to see who was being rushed to the hospital and for which family we could be praying.

Are things perfect in Marion? Of course not. If they were, it would be called heaven.

But the solutions to problems we have do not lie in our ability to criticize one another, tear one another down, make personal attacks on individuals, or worse than any of this, be apathetic about our community.

We can and should address the problems that exist. If we don’t, we can’t become the best community possible. But we have to address them in ways that are healthy, constructive, honest, and loving.

When I replied to my friend that I live in the best place I’ve seen it wasn’t just a trite response mocking one of our many town slogans. It was an honest response.

We visited with some friends who teach at a public school yet send their children to private schools. I would never hesitate to send my kids to our schools here.

The facility my friends rented for their wedding reception cost $400 an hour. Things are a little more affordable here.

The drive from San Diego to Glendora, Calif., a journey that should take a little over two hours, took well over three hours. If I wait two minutes to turn onto Main Street I joke that it is rush hour.

As I say regularly in e-mail, “Life is good in Marion.”

Let’s address the problems we have in a constructive manner, move forward together, and experience the richness of a healthy community.

In completely other news: Pray for rain.

Last modified Aug. 2, 2012

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