Editorial – The good and not so good

Jeff Burgar

It isn’t just people involved in media who have opinions!
Each day, we view thoughts of writers paid to scribble their words of wisdom. We also watch and learn from media managers and owners putting their fingers on the scale of opinions, simply by deciding what gets printed or aired.
Plus, there are politicians busy making rules and, of course, members of the public are allowed like never before to put ideas down on paper. Or a computer screen. Pay attention, and one has a front row seat in observing foibles, idiosyncrasies and ludicrosity of vast swaths of mankind.
No difference following Jane Doe down the street, councillor John Doe across town, or even premier Frank or prime minister Karen. Mostly one and the same. Different faces. Same skin. Different names. Same thinking.
No matter how we might wish our neighbours should live their lives, it seems so many never quite manage to meet our expectations. Sometimes, we tell them so. Sometimes we don’t. Often, we decide idiots just aren’t worth arguing with. And other times, they really do need a talking to. Either way, we still enjoy the watching, no matter what.
So we have boneheads beaking away at the coffee shop. At the sewing circle. The senior’s club. The team events. And of course, at the gabfests known as Instagram or Facebook and others. Lots of wise people there, for sure. Yet one wonders how there can be so many smart people, and yet so many different ideas what is right or wrong.
Moving on, we take pleasure in reading certain stories. They come to our newspaper through a federal program known as the Local Journalism Initiative. The program helps pay several newspapers and media to hire reporters to write news stories in their communities. You can find a few of these stories on our sister website, theregional.com.
Good community stories. Volunteer stories. Small town problems. Fundraisers. A bit of crime. Concern with health issues. Farming and more.
Such stories came to mind last week. A citizen emphasized their complaint of the day to their local media with this ending: “And that’s what’s wrong with this town!”
No need for detail. It is an old story. Many people can’t stand to see their neighbour do well. So many people on a board or spending public money just has to go out of town to get “good work.” If one does not like a person over a happening from 30 years ago, well, there’s no way any good is ever coming from that person.
Some days, one wonders how long-term politicians, or some business people, get to be – well – long term. Is it just a matter of not making waves, shaking hands, smiling the good smile? Could be.
And that town mentioned is “wrong?” No. It’s the same everywhere. There is nothing unique about almost every town, city or country in the world in fact. Reading those stories from small communities across Canada, one fact seems a constant. When communities and people work together, instead of pulling themselves apart, there usually is a better chance of success. Seems a simple message. Just too often not listened to. Many places.

Share this post