Lets discuss your thoughts.
A few days ago, I had a conversation with an individual about the Galion Inquirer and my column. He was kind enough to share his thoughts with me about both.
He mentioned several things he would be interested in seeing in the newspaper. Topics such as: Why do the church bells ring during the week? Why wasn’t there more front page coverage of the results of the elections? Why aren’t there police reports from the Crawford County Sheriff’s department as they also serve Galion?
Over the past several months I have had similar conversations with numerous individuals about the newspaper and my column. All the people I have spoken to have shared their thoughts about what they would like to see in the newspaper, and what subjects they would like me to write about in my column.
All the people I have spoken to had thoughts about topics that would interest them, or had thoughts about ideas they thought members of our community would be interested in reading about.
After the first few conversations I started asking everyone I spoke with some questions. Questions such as: “Have you ever written to the editor about your thoughts or written an editorial opinion piece about your thoughts?”. The answer is always, “no.” My next question is “why not?”
I receive varied answers to my last question, but two themes appeared to run through all the conversations in one form or another. Two of the most basic reasons being, “Who cares what my thoughts are? And I’m afraid I’ll offend someone”. Both concerns are understandable; to a point.
In regards to the first concern, you might be amazed at how many people will care about your thoughts. I certainly do. Russ Kent, the editor of the Galion Inquirer certainly does.
I enjoy it immensely when people share their thoughts with me. Yes, even when they disagree with me, or I with them. When people share their thoughts with me I consider it a gift. From people sharing their thoughts with me, I have learned new things, I have been persuaded to change my opinion, I have been fascinated, I have laughed, and I have cried. So, your thoughts are very important to me.
We each are delightfully unique individuals. You and I can stand and watch a sunrise together or sit and watch a movie, and we each will have different thoughts about the same event. Which means, if we are asked to share our thoughts, we will each have a different story to tell. Never be afraid to share your unique thoughts.
Which brings us to the second concern. The truth is, in our society today, no matter how benign or nice your thought is, if you share it with enough people, you will offend someone. With that in mind, why not share your thoughts anyway?
Writers learn this lesson early on. Sadly, this truth can result in some writers giving up on writing. It can result in people not sharing their thoughts in conversations, or not writing to the editor of a newspaper and sharing their thoughts.
But your thoughts are important. And if you share your thoughts without intent of malice and they offend someone, then that person has a problem, not you. Sharing your thoughts with me, with the editor of the Galion Inquirer, and with the community in an editorial opinion piece can educate us, make us laugh, and yes, perhaps even make us cry.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, an individual shared his thoughts with me. I found them to be interesting and to have substance. By sharing his thoughts with me, he gave me the idea for this article; and that is quite a gift.
So, in closing, I will ask this of you. Share your thoughts with us; me, the editor, and our community. After all, isn’t this the season of gift-giving?
P.S. If anyone knows why the church bells ring during the week, let us know.