June 12, 2014
The Domestic WarHorse moves on
This really isn’t an editorial. I just wanted to use that headline one last time. Today I’m writing as my 10 year old persona, The Domestic WarHorse. I took on that name because I felt I earned the title. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, a teacher, a writer, a tutor, a music coach, a cashier, a photographer, a babysitter, an accompanist, a church organist, a choir director … a reporter, an editor, and now a grandma.
This editor job is the hardest one of all, although being a mom trained me well for it.
Editors have to set limits, just like moms.
Editors have to say “no” and are almost always the bad guy, just like moms.
Editors have to make difficult and unpopular choices. They care about their community family and want them to be happy, but they know that sometimes stories must run that will not be taken well. Like cleaning the toilet - it has to be done.
Many of the calls I have received have resulted in me going into Mom Mode. I advise angry people of the steps they need to take to get their problem resolved. I’m not Six On Your Side. I don’t have time to investigate what such and such business did to you. Have you notified the Better Business Bureau? Have you filed a report with the police department and the sheriffs office? Have you called everyone in that company (bosses, CEOs, secretaries, mail clerks) to get an answer to your problem? Contrary to what you hear on TV, the media can’t solve your problem. If you go to them the whole thing could blow up in your face and make you look stupid. Personally, I wouldn’t take the risk.
I’ve always tried to publish the most positive of stories about Galion and, boy, did that make people mad. Seriously? You don’t get enough bad news on the TV, Internet and Talk Radio? I’ve always believed that the local paper is part of the heart of a city. People looking to move check out local cities on the Internet. Shouldn’t we try to look our best to the outside world?
After 6 months on the job I finally gave myself permission to hang up on rude people: 1) the ones who would not give me their names; 2) the ones who were using foul language or yelling; 3) the ones who repeatedly said, “I want to know WHY you would do such and such …” even after I had answered their question three times.
With all the constant talk about making Galion a better place, I think there are some really simple things that can be done:
Take your town back. Don’t let kids destroy the things you love. Grab your long-hidden guts and tell them to stop it. Don’t let people act rudely to others. If someone is cussing out the cashier, ask them to stop. I’m pretty sure someone in their life has told them it’s wrong to be rude. They just need reminding. Don’t worry if they cuss you out in return. You did your job. They know they are wrong. They are just mad at the world.
Take a walk around your block every day. Talk to the suspicious folks that seem to be snooping in the neighbor’s window, driveway, garage or front porch. Be friendly. Say “hi” and ask them if you can help them find what they are looking for. If they know they are being watched they will move on. If there were two people to every block in the town watching and getting to know who lives in the neighborhood and who doesn’t belong, crime would plummet. We really don’t need a big national organization with rules and regs to police our neighborhoods, just caring people. Don’t forget the alleys.
Oh, yeah, and the dumpsters.
Since I’ve been editor here for three years I think I’ve earned the right to share some advice. By now you know it’s probably the same advice I give my kids:
1. Be thankful for what you have. There may not be anymore coming down the road. Keep a gratitude journal, that will help. A thankful heart shows up as beauty on the outside.
2. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it. You might just make someone’s day.
3. Relax. It’s not that important. Write out your options and give yourself time to think. Don’t do drama.
4. Humble yourself to others. Everyone knows more than you about something. Don’t tell someone how to do their job, especially if you have never done it. Let them talk. A good listener is the most valuable person in the world.
5. Work hard. Earn what you need. Steer clear of loans and borrowing if you can, because it comes back to bite you in the end.
6. Love where you are. Bloom where you are planted. If you don’t like where you live, move. Don’t say you can’t leave. That’s an excuse. This is America for Pete’s sake. If you really truly absolutely cannot move, make your place of residence beautiful.
7. Sing. Sing like the Dwarves in “The Hobbit.” Sing like the Russians in “Hunt for Red October.” If nothing else, sing like the Munchkins in “Wizard of Oz.”
I have a lot more to say, but I think that’s enough for now. Have a great weekend!