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Culpeper Times • January 3-9, 2019
HISTORY Welcome 2019 Happy New Year to everyone! Almost more important than a wish for your Peace and Prosperity, I wish you strength of character, a few good friends and an ample supply of fortitude when Peace and Prosperity
are nowhere to be found. There is no doubt about it: change is the merchant of a product none of us wishes to purchase – anxiety! But what are the options? As a dear friend taught me years ago: “the only
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constant in this life is change.” Do we embrace all change? Absolutely not! The ultimate task is to distinguish between the process of change and the change itself. The process is inevitable; however, the change itself is another story. We must remain vigilant -not the same as anxious and far superior to acquiescent. It is critical that we think for ourselves. Perhaps this is what Bill Maher meant when he wrote, “We need more people speaking out. This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It's overrun with sheep and conformists.” What a concept! Look beyond the 30 second sound bite; the posturing; and the rhetoric meant to intimidate then search for the motives. Another fine friend said to me some thirty years ago that it is good to seek advice, “but never fail to assess the agenda of the advisor.” Abraham Lincoln may have not known the foresight of his analogy of the shepherd, wolf and sheep on the question of liberty when he wrote: “The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.” These three quotes paint a crisp picture. We must fact- find, analyze, seek commentary, build consensus and wrangle for the greater good. There will always be at least one other opinion and more likely there will be multiples; however, seeking the most thoughtful and well-studied action should be the goal.
You may be asking, “Why all the philosophic rhetoric?” It is a new year and one where an unusual amount of divisiveness and anxiety exists. In my little world- one in which I was parentally mandated to be responsible for myself as well as my fellow man- it raises the questions, “What should I do? Can I be a significant factor, and will I make a positive difference?” The reality is I do not know, but then again, I will never know if I do not try. Charlie Anderson played by Jimmy Stewart, in the movie Shenandoah after having failed to find his young son captured by Union soldiers during the Civil War, declared to his family, “I just had to try! And if we don't try, we don't do. And if we don't do, why are we here on this earth?” That pretty much sums it up for me! I am a product of the 60s and a believer in being involved. There are a multitude of ways in which that effort can be accomplished. I will continue to unearth stories that inform and inspire sharing them with anyone who cares to read or listen. I will not fault or denigrate those with a different opinion but would hope that all folks will keep an open mind and a desire to well informed, be tolerant and inclusive. Until next week, be well.
ZANN’S PLACE Zann Nelson
Zann Nelson is a researcher specializing in historical investigations, public speaker and award -winning freelance writer and columnist. She can be reached at M16439@aol.com or www.facebook.com/ZannsPlace.
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