Get our newsletters

Chatterbox: Staying strong in the game


Today, we find ourselves overwhelmed with certain concerns. It’s draining having to think so much about any subject especially while conflicting information is consistently launched at us, but fair and prudent decisions can’t be made without smart deliberation.

Many Americans are inundated with information to process on our current American condition. Most of us try to be responsible, but almost all are either poised for attack, have voluntarily disengaged from political discourse, or disconnected completely. In any case, it’s understandable.

Whatever we choose, the current situation is a circus, and no one should be forced to gas up the clown car; we can completely bury our heads in the sand. Still, if we opt out, we can have no impact on the resolution.

If we choose to be engaged, there’s something we each and all must do, regardless of which side of the fracas we’re on: We must be fair. This is a responsibility we all – all sides and all opinions – have. Our action or inaction decides what becomes of all peoples, our country, and the world. We owe it to ourselves, our family, our descendants and to whatever becomes of this world, to be fair. Whatever happens impacts everything, everyone, everywhere, especially over time.

Some of us may be affected by the desire to protect what we have earned or are working for in our lifetime, but we also must do what we believe to be right by our neighbors, friends and loved ones. Some of us worry about what we leave behind for our descendants, but it’s important to remember that doesn’t just mean rights and finances; they’ll need air to breathe and water to drink.

Most of us also want to respect whatever higher power we answer to. So, we need to play by the good rules, as much as possible, keep our personal boundaries and, hopefully, present an outcome that adheres to those boundaries. If we aren’t going forward in good faith for the general well-being of most people, in America as well as around the world, we may need to reexamine our motives.

These past several months’ developments, with all the conflicting information and interpretations, have been too much for most anyone to digest well. Worse, in our country it’s gotten harder for us to make informed and responsible choices – not an unplanned effect.

Many of us lived through controversies that divided America: equal rights, Vietnam; Nixon; Watergate; Reagan; the crash of ’08 and the bailouts, among others just as turbulent and divisive. Sure, the news may have been skewed or edited, sometimes justifiably. Still, news was delivered by reporters, not just people reading script. They gave us information as close as possible to what teams investigated and were able to verify. It was left for us to weigh and ponder and, then, make our own decision, choosing our ground. We weren’t dictated to by the talking heads of news empires.

Today, we have too much news media with an agenda, a pre-formulated stand, with whole networks owned by moguls or groups committed to particular people and outcomes that often, benefit them, personally. No sooner are the words out of the mouths of our leadership, than the pundits are telling us what they mean, as if we can’t understand it if they don’t explain it to us.

We should decipher such information and decide for ourselves because, whichever channel we choose, the spin shapes our personal opinion, whether we think so or not. We have a great responsibility in the very heavy issues facing us. However we lean, let’s not lean so far as to lose a good footing. We really need to watch and think independently, remembering to separate fact from affectation.

We, right now, are all involved in critical choices. Even so, we must remember they will only minimally modify the world for many of us. Yet, they will literally create the future we leave in our past. We must see something bigger than “just us” or “right now,” and have a clear conscience.

Just as I write these words, a news flash comes over the airwaves: a helicopter crash has killed at least five people; we all know the later developments. It’s a sad reminder that we have no guarantees. In an instant, everything we have planned is gone. All we leave behind is only what we’ve already done; legacy becomes the largest part of everyone’s existence.

What we leave behind is what all the children inherit. Wealth is nice, but many other things are far more essential.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.