‘Silo perspective’ often can be shortsighted
Our agricultural landscape, at our state’s beginning, had few silos. Over time we transitioned from upright structures of concrete, steel and glass to plastic bags and bunkers. Each transition, guided by science, technology and economics, motivated the decisions made.
Sometimes we choose to live like silos, walled up and unable to see the expansive landscape. Are our fears, anger, selfishness, greed, prejudices, lack of gratitude keeping us holed? How I long for the imagination for all of us to see the reality of our current moral landscape and do what is needed to make our global community better.
What I see are struggles impacting men, women and children, issues confronting humans across our globe. Each issue may be viewed and debated from a silo perspective. However, from the viewpoint of an informed conscience, the truth we seek is more nuanced. Only God, who is ultimate truth, sees fully and completely. As humans we may think we see with clarity, but our insight is seldom 20/20.
It is easy to complain about a neighbor, to criticize foreign students, to judge an immigrant workforce and/or express moral outrage regarding another person’s behavior and have no idea what their life is like. The idiom “Before you judge a man, (woman or child), walk a mile in his (her) shoes” applies to all of us. It is easy to disrespect and judge another. Respect takes empathy and a willingness to try to understand.
Violence and outrage foment violence and outrage. Justice that seeks understanding challenges us intellectually, emotionally, morally and the benefits bring a measure of clarity, even calm. The story of the Good Samaritan, a parable for our time, is not based on silos or never-ever thinking, but on empathy and the greatest of all gifts, love. Love never fails.
Writer misrepresents the Democratic Party
As chair of the Eau Claire County Democratic Party, I feel it is important to challenge the misrepresentations about the party made in a letter to the editor published in the July 12 Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.
He is incorrect in his description of the Democratic Party’s position on the Chippewa Valley Veterans Tribute. The Eau Claire County Democratic Party supports the Veterans Tribute and has purchased a legacy stone for it. The party also dedicated its November 2019 meeting to a presentation on veterans issues. As the county party’s constitution says, “We have an obligation to support our veterans during and after their service to our nation.”
The writer also is incorrect in his description of the Democratic Party’s position regarding the Eau Claire Police Department. We stand with the brave men and women of the Eau Claire Police Department and are proud they are seen as a model by other police departments that are seeking to reform. We stand opposed to the injustice and police violence happening in other parts of the nation.
The local Democratic Party candidates and elected officials share these views.
Voter turnout strong for area cooperative
For those of you keeping score at home regarding the Dunn Energy Cooperative Board of Directors elections last month, Rachel Kummer won her contest and Jim Zons came oh so close, losing by a whisker.
Most encouraging were the vote totals; more than 12 percent higher than in previous elections, indicating greater member/owner involvement. Rachel’s success will hopefully be a step to be built upon toward more member/owner-friendly board policies regarding transparency, accessibility and accountability. Though we have strong policy differences regarding these issues with Larry Amble and Dean Stokke, they are to be congratulated on their re-elections.
I urge all DEC members/owners to remain involved as we look forward to next year’s contests. Together we can make a difference one election at a time.
Our public library: The great equalizer
We currently seem to be in a very dark place where two out of three Americans are “actually fearful” of our country’s future. With the number of COVID-19 deaths rising every day, the increasing jobless numbers and the ever-growing economic divide, it is hard to be hopeful. Rather it is often easier to accept, sinking even deeper into a morass of hopelessness.
Instead we need to look beyond the gloom. A series of articles suggests it is our public libraries we should look to for help. One article by Jenny Anderson for Quartz explains why. She writes, “Libraries are a crucial way to fight the ravages of ... rising social discord, and educational inequalities.” Quoting Philipp Schmidt: “Libraries are the last safe, free, truly public space where people from all walks of life may encounter each other.” Lastly, Tony Marx: “The library is quietly one of the places that is saving democracy.”
Those words perfectly describe the mission/work of our own library. Public, free and nonjudgmental, it quietly goes about its business offering free resources to patrons doing job searches or developing a business plan. And it provides much more: free access to the internet, adult classes for lifelong learners, early literacy experiences for young children, a safe place for quiet reflection and a resource for visitors or new residents seeking information about our community. With the library expansion there will be even greater opportunities (visit ec publiclibrary.info).
The library has always been considered a community jewel, visited on average by 1,200 visitors a day. The anticipated expanded library, the Pablo Center and soon the new Children’s Museum are all beacons of light and hope creating a brighter future for our community.
Time to revisit 1960 book ‘Black Like Me’
A white Texan writer wanted to find out the realities of the deep South so he could write about it. To do that he had to take a medication with doctors beside him to accomplish his goal. After taking the medication he cut his hair and shaved his arms to look more like those people. When all this was completed the reality of his goal in writing a true story started to become true.
His skin turned black, he then went to the South and started taking notes on how he was treated. This went on for weeks and to his surprise this type of reality sunk into his mind and who he looked like. He took notes on his everyday type of living and stopped taking the medication. His skin turned white and he was back to his reality.
His name was John Howard Griffin and he wrote the 200-page book that came out in 1960 called “Black Like Me.”
Maybe this is the time in America for people to read it again.