Our beautiful Lake

04Aug17

At long last, I’ve seen the light.

I’m admittedly a slow learner, but it has come to my attention that some readers find my weekly entries in the space needlessly caustic. Some might say “snarky” or even “mean.” I was deeply troubled when I learned of this. The knowledge that my writing may have caused anyone to entertain uncomfortable thoughts or experience unpleasant feelings was more than I could bear, once it finally sank in.

That’s just not who I am.

Therefore, today’s column and all future columns will be written in accordance with the strictest standards of civility and sensitivity, avoiding all language that excludes, disparages, marginalizes or disadvantages any persons or groups, or that offends the standards established by our community’s guardians of diversity, inclusivity, multiculturalism, sustainability and anything else that I may have forgotten because I am, after all, a privileged white male.

Even the topic of today’s column, our beautiful Lake, has been chosen with the utmost care. I know, the subject has been written about ad infinitum and is at this point of scant current interest. But that’s the point. Writing in a provocative way about compelling topics is hurtful.

If my switch to writing balanced, generous, uplifting and constructive columns means that they go unread, so be it. I’m just happy to do my part to keep the community harmonious and free of discord. You might say I’ve evolved.

I know that I have been guilty of suggesting that our society has made real progress in terms of civil and human rights in the last century. For making such assertions I am profoundly sorry. I had no idea how hurtful it was to those who don’t want to believe that things are much better than the blood-soaked, flaming hellhole they apparently wish we lived in.

There is one marginalized group to which I owe an especially heartfelt apology: the Reefer-American Community. I have in the past suggested that all marijuana smokers live in their mom’s basement and watch the Cartoon Network all day. I deeply regret my role in perpetuating that unfair stereotype. I now realize that some potheads don’t have cable and are forced to play video games instead.

I have a newfound appreciation for the importance of diversity. Variety is the spice of life, except when it comes to thought, and spicy opinion has no place at our table. True diversity is achievable only when we all agree.

And we do have a beautiful Lake. I think we can all agree on that.

[This column originally appeared in the August 3, 2017 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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