Latest Issue – Issue 34
Almost every month I pass through a mini crisis in which I worry that I won’t be able to fit in all of your news and stories but, so far at least, I have somehow been able to squeeze more or less all of them in. This month, however, you have been particularly inspired and some items will have to wait until next month. This is a nice problem to have, of course, and it is particularly pleasing to see how many letters have arrived, as I am always keen to encourage debate and discussion. Last month’s letter regarding the new bandstand in the Memorial Gardens appears to have provoked a strong reaction, and frustration from some that the author of the letter chose to remain anonymous. It has been suggested that we should insist on publishing the names of those who write in, but having given the matter some thought I can’t think of any good reason why this should be the case. Surely it is the opinion or message which is important rather than the person sending it?
I recently read an excellent book about building harmonious and sustainable communities. In it the author suggested that we bring great pain upon ourselves and others by identifying with our beliefs and opinions. If others disagree with or oppose our beliefs we tend to regard this as an attack upon our own personal identity. If we could learn to detach ourselves from our beliefs so that our egos don’t feel threatened when others disagree with us, then we would be able to avoid or resolve conflicts much more easily and live more happily together.
So whilst I am keen to encourage debate and discussion in this paper, I hope it can be conducted with a genuine spirit of constructive engagement and a desire to improve the lives of everyone in our community. Where there are differences of opinion as to the best ways of achieving this I hope that we can respect and value all of those opinions as well as the people who hold them. If we are to live harmoniously as a community we need to respect, value and celebrate diversity whilst seeking consensus through communication, patience, forgiveness and understanding.
Please keep sending in your articles and letters but also give thanks to those who disagree with or criticise them for helping us all to reflect and move forward. I hope you can enjoy the remainder of the summer festivities with all of your fellow townsfolk. Ed
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