One of the problems with writing a weekly column is that you can have your mind go in a thousand different directions and according to some people who have reached out to me concerning my column you certainly can’t please everyone all the time.
Here’s the thing about our society, we are a society of free speech, freedom of peaceful expression and the right to pursue our goals and dreams.
I’m very fortunate to know a lot of very intelligent people and to hear them utter words like, ”Well I can’t say that because it will offend someone,” just makes my skin crawl. Now let me point out I’m not talking about offending someone by assaulting their character or looks or circumstances, but rather just stating an opinion.
That’s exactly what my columns are intended to do, point out my opinions and my reactions to the happenings in our community and my life.
I was thinking of mentioning that we spread our mom’s ashes these past few days at a particular spot that she enjoyed. One of my favorite pictures was taken at that spot and we went there many times. I cherish those memories and will certainly cherish the moment I shared by myself the other morning when I fulfilled her request.
I’m sure someone is out there now trying to figure out a way to get on me about doing something that may, or may not, have been totally legal or follow all the “rules.”
Seems to me it really doesn’t concern anyone else and more importantly, was I hurting anyone? The answer of course is “no.” My point is that everyone has an opinion on something, but, I have a platform where my opinions are expressed for our readers to see. My name and picture appear right next to everything I write and I’m accountable.
It doesn’t make me right or wrong, it’s just my opinion. There are no absolutes when it comes to someone’s opinion. I also thought about mentioning that my eldest son turned 43 on Nov. 17. As a child he went everywhere with me when I was a sports reporter. He attended games and rode on my shoulders at times while I was shooting pictures. I was 18 when he was born and just like my mom and me, we kind of grew up together.
He’s seen me stumble as I have him, but he is growing up and I’m proud of the life Scott and his wife Tina have worked so hard to achieve. They recently moved from New York City to Maui, not a bad change of scenery, and any move or career transition can be tough, but they have managed.
Scott is a staunch Democrat. As I have mentioned before in my columns, our oldest kids are very varied on their political and social beliefs, but the thing is we can get along and express our opinions in a civil manner. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other, remember, no absolutes. They were never taught, “This is the way,” they have always been able to form their own opinions. In fact, the three who are currently in school have even more differing views than the older kids.
I do believe that both political parties have had a hand in the unrest our country has gone through over the last four years. It was not one or the other. You have your views and I have mine.
So there you go.
I mentioned death, birth and politics in the same column and I don’t think that thud sound I just heard outside was someone keeling over because I mentioned those three topics.
If you see me, say, “Hey!”
Dee McLelland is publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.