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Fletcher: Time for being forgiving and thankful

November 13, 2012
Stephen Fletcher , The Alpena News

Some time ago I mentioned to a friend that my church is very forgiving as a congregation. This pal asked how I could measure forgiveness.

It's kind of a long story stretching back decades but why let that prevent me from telling it. Back when I was in the third or fourth grade at Bingham School we had a school play. I was singing enthusiastically with the other kids and at the end of the practice our music teacher, Miss Flora, suggested I just mouth the words.

She obviously was teaching way before "sensitivity training" came into vogue, and with that single suggestion my singing career was forever changed. She was right. I'm a terrible singer but still enthusiastic. I sing words and tunes that should have been composed, rather than what was composed. The congregation has never complained. I think they are very forgiving.

Today all kinds of folks are ready to tell us to physically get into shape. They are annoying in their persistent pestering. Regarding that, I saw a bumper sticker recently that you have to love. It was spotted outside of a yarn shop: "If knitting were exercise you could bounce a quarter off my butt."

Obviously, this pre-Thanksgiving column is a bit of everything. Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful, as the Pilgrims were, for being in a place where different ideas can be expressed without fear of retribution.

With that as the background, I believe it is time for everyone to come together after the recent election. Trust between folks is at an all time low and credibility for anything on the internet is non-existent. We still have a country to manage as citizens and we need to start finding the common ground of a philosophy which we can all embrace. If your being an American is grounded in just one principle, then you aren't going to be happy in our magnificent and diverse country. As Americans, we are multi-faceted.

In the spirit of cooperation, I learned fairly early in my career that long-term relationships are made by learning how to disagree in an agreeable manner. If we find that someone's disagreeing with us, then it might be possible that they are right. If we feel they are not correct in their conclusions because their facts are flawed, then supply the correct facts. Thank goodness baseless slogans from the election are over. Whatever happened to " and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea"?

With hunting season here, let's talk two government freebies of interest to sportsmen. U.S. Fish and Wildlife workers have some money available for both woodcock habitat and also for pond development. The U.S. Soil Conservation folks also have had programs for ponds. The difference in the two pond programs is that one agency provides help to dig ponds while the other one creates the wetland by the construction of dams.

As for the economy, not much is new. The recent election affirmed a Republican controlled House of Representatives and a Democrat Senate and Presidency. Since that's what we had before and it resulted in gridlock, we probably will just continue with the same results which we have had over the last four years.

If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got.

 
 

 

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