Editor’s Column: April 26, 2018

To the less-than-courageous individual who was in downtown Meeker last week distributing snarky fliers about the Meeker rec district, do you have a legitimate reason for not adding your “John Hancock” to your wee editorial?
Are you afraid of legal backlash, since you devolved to the kind of name-calling that could be considered libelous? Or do you have a greater agenda underway, one that revealing your identity could disrupt?
Here’s the thing: I am all for public commentary and freedom of speech. However, I am not a fan of anonymous rabble-rousing—that’s yellow-bellied behavior, in the vernacular of some of my southern ancestors.
If your complaint is legitimate, you should have enough of a spine to sign it. We put our names on uncomfortable stuff every week and we expect similar courage from others who are willing to publish their opinions.
We’ve printed some difficult coverage of rec district board meetings in the last few weeks (with bylines, by the way). We’ve endeavored to make that coverage as accurate as possible, even when it’s not complimentary.
Has the rec district staff and/or board handled everything perfectly? That depends on who you ask (remember, hindsight is 20/20). It’s easy to sit back and say “they should have done X.” It’s not so easy to be the “they” deciding on “X.”
Whatever your opinion of the board’s decisions, subjecting any particular board member or district staff member to personal persecution and torment because you don’t like something the board has decided is puerile. Acting like a petulant seventh-grader who didn’t get his or her way is not going to benefit the community as a whole. If you’ve fallen victim to that kind of thinking/behavior, you aren’t helping your hometown, you’re hurting it.
Which brings me back to our anonymous flier-writer. Are you afraid to put your name to your argument? That undermines your credibility unless you can prove otherwise. The fact you’ve chosen to “stir the pot” anonymously leads me to believe you have an ax to grind. The question for the rest of us is: “Whose ax are you sharpening, and why?”

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I had the distinct privilege of interviewing Meeker High School seniors seeking Fairfield scholarships last week. It was one of those experiences that renewed my faith in humanity. (This was before I knew about the ninja flier writer.)
A lot of older people like to gripe about this generation of up-and-coming young adults. This has been the case for older generations since the dawn of time. Note to self: when you feel compelled to complain about the younger generation, let it be a red flag that you have crossed the line into crotchety old age and it’s time to shut up.
To be honest, the next generation gives me hope for our future. The young people I heard from Friday are wise beyond their years and have insight most of us didn’t get until we were in our 30s at the earliest. They’re looking out for their parents (moms win, by the way, for “greatest influence”), they want to avoid debt and have (in far too many cases) battled depression, anxiety, family breakups, abuse, poverty and more. These young people have never lived in a country that wasn’t at war with another nation. What effect does that have on a generation?
There are a lot of things wrong with the world in which we live. Our young people—at least the ones I’ve met—are not one of them. Don’t gripe about them, support them.