Editor’s Column: Cannibals among us?

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There’s a Bible verse that’s as applicable to small towns as it is to church congregations. It’s a warning: “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”

Small towns are notorious for “biting and devouring” one another, whether through gossip or manipulation or coercion or other means.

Here’s the problem… there aren’t enough of us doing the work that needs to be done to yield to the temptation of cannibalism—undermining one another personally, professionally or corporately

We’ve all read the horror stories of Alferd Packer in Colorado and the Donner Party in California. Somwhere in those cringe-worthy tales there’s one person in the story who decided it would be a good idea to eat one of their companions. Let’s endeavor not to be that person as we participate in history-in-the-making.

But I don’t agree with so-and-so, we wail. I don’t like what they do/think/believe. That’s OK. We can have differing opinions and still have communities that adapt and thrive.

You want proof? Read the front page of this week’s paper. 

Fifty-six men, ranging in age from 26 to 70, signed—at great physical, financial and personal risk—the Declaration of Independence 244 years ago this week.

History tells us they disagreed with each other on a lot of topics, but somehow managed to find a way to come to agreement for the greater good.

We don’t have a rotten King George to rally against. Maybe we need a bigger enemy, something big enough we can rally together, despite our differences.

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Why is the Declaration of  Independence taking up the front page again?

Because we are leaky vessels. We read things, we hear things, we’re moved by them, and then we forget our convictions and start behaving badly again.

Most of us read the documents related to our nation’s founding only when forced to do so: in junior high and high school. And then we forget what we read.

I think, as responsible citizens, we should read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution at least once a year, just to refresh our understanding. We’re happy to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at every rodeo and say the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting. Let’s take it a step further and review the actual documents that inspired the national anthem and the pledge.

Just a thought.

By Niki Turner | niki@ht1885.com

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