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Gray hair in a red state


April 12, 2018

Gray hair would seem to indicate wisdom derived from extensive life experience. It carries with it the added responsibility of setting a good example for the next generations and modeling behaviors that enhance a high quality of life in a Democracy. Are we succeeding in that duty as the elder citizens of this state and county? Have we taken this obligation to heart and dedicated our energy in its fulfillment? Or have we been dozing in the armchair of complacency and habit, satisfied to derive our opinions from a single information source, or doing something one way, because it is the way we have always done it? Have we had the courage to listen to a supposed opposing view with the chance we might learn something new, or see it from a different perspective?

Many of us have drank the Kool-Aid of large corporations and super pacs who have put such a spin on the truth that we are dizzied by a tornado of misinformation. Our pockets have been picked and our minds confused by distortions. We are trying to navigate our lives through water that has been so muddied by greed and special interests that it is very difficult to see the path ahead. If it is difficult for the elders to make sense of things and make decisions that support the tenets of this democracy, then think what it must be like for the younger generations.

I know deeply within myself that it is my responsibility to demonstrate our most precious basic values. It is my duty to take the time to become an informed citizen so that my decisions are sound. This is especially true at the voting booth where my decisions impact not only me, but countless others. I recognize that a vote cast in ignorance can be a very dangerous thing. In that light, I pledge to have the courage to look at different sides of an issue, to seek out other perspectives, even if they seem to clash with my own, and to keep an open mind. That is what I, as a “gray hair,” owe to my community. Will you make the same or similar pledge?

Susan McFarland, Trout Creek


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