Last week I picked up my copy of the Record and read the articles on the front page and their respective endings throughout the paper. Then I turned to the inside of the front page. As I read the editorial, my jaw dropped, I was dumbfounded by what was written, and I was angry.
I was angry for days, even up until Sunday night as I wrote my column for today’s paper. Those who proofread my column told me, “This will be your last column for the Record.” I didn’t argue with them. It was written out of anger and it was not going to edify anybody, or our community for that matter.
But before I sent that column in, wisdom prevailed. I was reminded of the good things this paper has done for me personally. First of all it has given me a platform to provide encouragement and excitement to those within our community and those beyond it. What a blessing to be able to contribute my voice in this manner. The Record has also done a wonderful job of promoting Circles of Marion County over this last year. It has given us an avenue to talk with others about the initiative to end poverty.
The Record has also been a blessing to our congregation. It has helped us promote the Alternative Christmas Gift Market. Last year was the first year we had it, and this Saturday will be the second annual market. We as a community are actively raising funds for local and international missions through this market. And the bonus is we can find gifts to give to loved ones.
Probably most significantly in our family was how thoroughly the Record helped cover our daughter’s lemonade stand to help raise money for clean water in Rwanda through the organization charity:water. To date she has raised $2,275! David Colburn came to our house and interviewed Sadie and then Adam Stewart made sure to stop by the day of the event and got a picture of Sadie working at her lemonade stand.
Does the Record miss things or seem to get information out to us too late? Yes, that happens. Do the editorials sometimes make us really angry? Obviously that is true for me.
The fact of the matter is that we are all in this together. We need to work together to make Marion the best place it can be. Other towns have held events called “Love Sterling” or “Love Wichita.” Perhaps it is time that we band together and “Love Marion.” That would involve working alongside each other to improve our community.
If this past week has revealed anything to me, it is something that I already know and should already be practicing on a regular basis. It is this; when I have a problem with someone or something they did I need to let the other person know with kindness and compassion. Much more ground will be gained by sitting down with that person and talking honestly about how I felt and then listening to the other person’s point of view.
My hope is that we all want the same thing for Marion; to be a successful, thriving, small town. We will not get there with factions and animosity. We will get there through communication and kindness.