Loose Ends: Social commentary needs to ‘chill’

Everyone in my life continues to talk about the changes they face every day trying to resume their regular summer activities here in the White River Valley. However, when I am away taking care of family or friends somewhere else, many of the folks with whom I spent more than two and half years in a pandemic pod continue to also make assumptions about my personal opinions. We have always been able to argue amongst ourselves. I don’t know if they didn’t know me as well as they thought, but some of these people are making a special effort to let me know they still value my opinion by calling, texting, or e-mailing me.

Eventually they just can’t help themselves. They begin to launch into their own personal opinion about an issue or ask a leading question before they end an impromptu conversation. Honestly, I can report to you, I am being completely transparent these days. I am trying not to take sides with anyone. I still go out in the public and visit with people. I welcome anyone’s opinion in a Letter to the Editor here in this newspaper. I don’t have the same view as many of my readers. Yet, I am asking everyone who recognizes a kernel of truth in this tiny complaint to grant me a small, personal favor. I agree it may seem too much to ask in our present toxic climate. If you go to my personal, professional website, or my Facebook or Instagram personal story, just chill for a day or two before trying to contact me.

If you find yourself needing to say something to me because you believe that my constitutional right to the First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, has exceeded its boundaries, please let it go until the next day or two. I am trying my hardest to remain objective and listen to most everyone’s personal stories through this time period in our post-Covid world. A majority of my family and friends still make daily negative casual comments, as they cannot look at what is happening now any other way.

I look at them as people-who-follow-the glass-half-empty motto in living life. My life’s credo takes the opposite view. I continue to view daily events in a bit of positive light and I get a little glimpse of the silver lining in the clouds that darken our lives. All points of view are valid. They must be opinion-based and cannot be founded on speculation or assumptions, which I recognize as plain old gossip. Social commentary has sunk to a new low and it seems that the circumstantial evidence, which is not enough to prove the true TV crime series, seems to be collected here from so many unreliable sources, it is truly disappointing.

I am not defending what many of my readers regard as “Fake News.” I agree that examples of that are evident all over our state, on most every online site, questionable news sources, and even public figures who feel perfectly comfortable citing false statistics for their personal power.

I, for one, will continue to write personal essays and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines if I can ever get back to getting them out for publication. Yet, one other thing I will also continue to do is celebrate all the men and good fathers in our community who still protect and serve their families in the best way they know how. Happy Father’s Day!

By DOLLY VISCARDI – Special to the Herald Times

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