The by Joseph Back As the masks come off and Covid-19 continues to (hopefully) recede into the rearview mirror, I thought this week would be a good time to revisit what I call ‘The Larger …
by Joseph Back
As the masks come off and Covid-19 continues to (hopefully) recede into the rearview mirror, I thought this week would be a good time to revisit what I call ‘The Larger Picture,’ or fundamental principles behind things. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep things succinct and to the point—not always easy with just 15 minutes to press time.
Ok, maybe easier than most times. This is not the business to be in if you dislike “crunch time.”
At any rate, now that community events have started to return in the wake of Covid-19 and the last year and a half, returning to celebrate community and a positive attitude is important—ok, that and staying off Facebook, as this can so easily descend into depths that no one wants to go, at least alone. Virtual criticism, is a lot easier than making it to one’s face, such that modern life and technology have coarsened or else exacerbated ordinary human tendencies—the bad side, that of them. But along the bad (so easy to dwell upon), there is also good, and hope. Take the frontpage photo of Mayor Al Haas and Dean Samuelson of the Rod and Gun Club. Interposing between them is a message of longstanding stature at the Stanley Fire Hall, simply stating, “Work Together.”
This synergy is key to human societies, along with collective well-being. For while it may be possible to lead a life that is “poor, nasty, brutish, solitary, and short,” as English philosopher Thomas Hobbes once put it, this certainly isn’t to be preferred, at least by this writer. We need each other to go on, and to that point, it is imperative to remember each other’s humanity in spite of our disagreements and failings.
Take your local politicians and clerks.
Mostly unsung in the present 24/7 network TV age, your local town, village, and city officials are all ordinary people like you and me outside their official duties, with day jobs and families, not to mention with hopes and dreams for the future.
I extend this as well in charity to those who work farther away, at Madison and (dare it be said?) Washington, D. C.
But all these disagreements need not divide us to the point of irreparable ruptures, however inevitable this might seem at times. Handled constructively, disagreements can be the path to mutual understanding and respect. Handled wrongly of course, they lead to darker ends.
But while Ringelspiel is over and Truck and Tractor Pull now behind us, the upcoming Stanley Rodeo is a chance to again unite and remember our common bonds as we re-connect this summer around the Stanley Community Center, completed perhaps later than ideal, but not for that breaking unity.
“Community,” after all, means to be one with each other, at its roots. So as we go forward from here and into the future, let us not forget—that is, let us emphatically remember!—that we are more alike than different, and while it may not take away the occasional disagreement, these too are part of life—they need not destroy us, except we let them.