Local Wisdom

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by Jim Bertram

Included with the many interesting and informative articles contributed each week to the Times are well thought out letters, which often serve to inform and guide us in reflection on a variety of subjects. I am impressed by the ideas and commentaries of many of our neighbours and fellow citizens.

An example is the superb letter two weeks ago by Ed Norman on the subject of pandemic management and economic implications of our governments’ management approach. His analysis of the situation, and proposals based on readily available information, should be read, not only by active and interested citizens, but also by actual policymakers. Mr. Norman is an excellent example of the type of citizen whose advice should be taken seriously . What a great letter. I hope a copy has been sent to our MPP.

In addition, in the same edition, a number of letters dealt with the debate round the question of whether the Editor of this newspaper has the right to express himself on matters of religion. One letter proposes that the paper set up a section where a variety of religious views may be expressed. I would suggest that that opportunity already exists, and has always existed! I know from experience that the Editor will print any well-intentioned, decent article on a variety of subjects. So, what’s holding those with such points of view back? I would suggest that only the degree of willingness of potential writers to contribute is at question. Write if you have ideas. If you don’t, don’t attack those with ideas when they express themselves for the simple act of self-expression. Of course, critique is always welcome.

Other letter writers logically supported the right of Dr. Shanahan to write his ideas on religion in his own paper. This seems reasonable at first glance. And at second glance. And so on. It’s reasonable. And ethical. Dr. Shanahan’s dedication to local communication is well established. He provides a platform for the exchange of ideas, arguments, and makes important information available. So yes, he has the right to express himself and do so in ways with which we may or may not agree. Thanks to the letter writers who dealt with this subject.

An example last week of a writer providing some very important information was the article by Dr. Schueler on Snapping Turtles. The article outlines a touching example of cooperation between an expert on freshwater turtles, Dr. David Seburn, and the NG municipality’s road crew. Their cooperative efforts were such as to save the lives of many of these important creatures.

That level of care shown towards relatively helpless members of our natural environment is perhaps a model of the type of sympathy, awareness, and cooperation we should, I believe, show on a daily basis. In that regard, I have noticed cars in South Gower stopping to help a number of turtles attempting to cross roads. Turtles are not speed demons. Thanks to those who help out. And thanks again on behalf of turtles for that article. Oh – and be careful around adult snapping turtles.

Finally, thanks to so many people who take the time to put their ideas and experiences before us in print. You enrich our community by providing a variety of important points of view for us to read and discuss, sometimes energetically. I look forward to seeing the variety of ideas and viewpoints which future editions will surely provide.

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