To The Daily Sun,
Over the past many years I have rather come to doubt the sustainability of newspaper print in modern times. It would seem, given the computerization of information-sharing, that paper-print is a fading industry. However The Laconia Daily Sun has made me a believer again and so I feel the need to express why I believe it is so.
As a marriage and family counselor by trade, I have found the instantaneous broadcast of every place's problems into our living rooms (the Middle East, Africa, Soviet Union, China, Sri Lanka, Ferguson, etc.) to be a major contributor to the anxiety/fear that so many of us wrestle with today. We have come to see the world as a dangerous place and so we distrust each other and live in fear of the future.
Many of the same crises exist in our hometowns, granted, but the daily opportunity to hear about everyone else's hometown problems can be overwhelming. The irony is that nearly every Lakes Region home is aware of the problems of thousands of people thousands of miles away, people we cannot touch or in any grand way impact, but oftentimes we do not know the issues facing our neighbors whose license plates we can read from our kitchen windows.
The Laconia Daily Sun does not help me know my neighbor as I ought, but it does give me enough information about my touchable community that I can do something to impact it if I so desire. I appreciate this about The Daily Sun.
Secondly, the Laconia Daily Sun is a community unifier. Go anywhere in town and you can find a copy. If one store does not have a copy the person walking on the sidewalk is holding one for you to read. Reading The Daily Sun is something for which the phrase "everyone's doing it" accurately applies. Not "everyone" of course, but enough people to make it feel like it is a community endeavor.
Lastly, and most importantly in my mind, The Laconia Daily Sun permits both sides to speak. I have lost confidence in the major news stations available today. CNN clearly points its viewers to see the world from one side only, even going so far as to demonize the other. Likewise, FOX News acts as though it sees the whole truth, all the while leaving rocks unturned for its viewers.
Because of the stark polarization in the news media many people just don't listen to them anymore. But with Tthe Laconia Daily Sun I hear both sides — at least as it pertains to the Letters to the Editor section. The Letters to the Editor section can include heated debate between neighbors for sure. In some few cases one side even demonizes the other. But as far as I can tell each side gets a voice in The Daily Sun. To read some of the Letters to the Editor is to conclude that The Daily Sun clearly does not censor its contributors, and for this I am thrilled.
If this circumstance changes, if one side alone is heard — if the right, the left, the religious or the non are not allowed their voices, but only, say, the left, I shall take back all of my above comments and perhaps never read again. But thus far the debates go on and so they should.
A humble observation for all of us as we continue to contribute to The Laconia Daily Sun — our paper — we are all part of the world-problem, me too. The quicker we confess this the better. As a religious man I once thought I knew it all. It took me five years to go to college and five years to get over it. Now I am sold on a small collection of simple truths and it is these that daily direct my thoughts and actions. Here is one of those truths that I think potently applicable to all. I am in need of as much mercy and grace as the Lord Jesus Christ is willing to extend me. I need no less than anyone else, even than those I vehemently disagree with. I got into trouble years prior when I thought I needed less mercy than others. I could not see any truth in anything the other side said for I was blinded by my own pride. I still hold many of those same convictions I held back then but I hold them without the pride — or at least with less pride than before.
Consequently I can now dialogue with different others and not demonize them for not thinking like me. But I can't dialogue with someone who thinks they know it all, and, in my opinion, both sides today think they know it all. Let us as a community take seriously Jesus' words that "unless (we) repent (we) will ALL likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). That includes me. If you respond, "repent of what sir?!" I trust time will reveal that to you as it did for me.