“Always do right...”

June 17, 2005
By Deacon Alfonso A. Guilin It appears that after many years of little or no growth that our city is on the verge of some expansion; how, when, where and to what extent this growth might be is, at this point, indeterminable. In this context growth is the same as change; and change makes us all a bit uncomfortable.Growth and or change whether it is positive and negative is in the eye of the beholder. And it is certainly human to see ones point of view as positive and someone else’s point of view as negative. The reality is that it is simply impossible for two people to see the same issue or situation in exactly the same way. Even when there is agreement there will always be some shade of difference. In cases where people generally agree accommodation is an easier matter; when differences are greater accommodation is tenuous at best. But when differences are distorted or people are belittled middle ground becomes a vindictive quagmire.Individual freedom is the hallmark of our society; it is what has made our country flourish in ways that have never been seen in the history of mankind. But the underlying foundation that allows this individual freedom is that we live in a society or that we live in community. Community means that people have agreed to live together and have accepted some general rules and individual limitations that permits and promotes harmony within the society.Which brings me back to the situation in our community; it is a concern to me that as the debate increases as to how change will occur, the level of civil discourse decreases. Already we have seen the debate reduced to personal attacks and general verbal assaults on certain groups based on economic factors and or on ethnic denigrations.It’s my sense that some irrational statements have been made without much thought or in the spur of a lively debate. Yet regardless of how these pronouncements are made they still create wounds that fester and heal slowly if ever.
There must be a better way and we actually know a better way if we heed it. Mark Twain is credited with saying, "Always do right, it will please some people and astound the rest." Scripture also tells us in countless verses how we should comport ourselves.My proposal is modest indeed and unoriginal as best, that we heed Mark Twain and all the goodness of fair play that we all know to be good so regardless of decisions that are made that the community remain intact and a place to live without recriminations that will haunt us in the future.So why not astound our friends and ourselves by having a frank, honest and civil dialogue on the future of our community.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.