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Opinion

Color matters

You may have seen our paper turn black and white a couple of times over the last month. Due to issues with the press, the plates had to be made elsewhere and brought back to Creston to print the paper.

Some thought it made the paper look like a blast from the past – I thought it looked a little boring. Hey, it’s what we could do under the circumstances and far better than no paper at all, but I like a little color in my life.

I don’t have a lot of favorites. I like variety. My favorite color – don’t really have one, although I took an online quiz once that told me purple is my “happy” color. Favorite flower – I love daffodils, but for a bouquet, I’d rather have a mixture.

I like a mixture of people in my life, too. How boring would it be if everyone was just like me?

We’d all get along pretty well but not much would get done. I need the guy who sets the deadlines so I get a little boost to finish things up.

I grew up in southern Iowa where folks all pretty much look the same, but I’ve since lived on both coasts in towns where my neighbors looked quite different. When we lived in military housing, children of all ethnicities played together and the parents hung out. We looked different, but we all had the same things going on – husbands, and the occasional wife, who were always gone, especially if there was a hurricane. We relied on the families nearby for comfort – and sanity for those days when the only conversations you had were about dinosaurs and trucks.

Creston has developed a little bit of color since I lived here in high school, but ethnicity is not the only difference I see. Those differences always existed, they have just become more visible and, for the most part, more accepted.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are the buzzwords to try and get us to understand how people feel about themselves. I have to admit, it’s not something I really “get” at my core. But, really, how is it any of my business? You do you, as they say. I’ll be me.

I’m pretty sure there are things about me that others don’t get, like my tendency to use $10 verbiage instead of 50 cent words. It’s not something I do on purpose; it’s just part of my makeup, likely due to all the reading I did while I was growing up.

If you know me at all, you know I’m a peacemaker. I want people to get along. If you are having a bad time, it affects me. I will do all I can to make things easier for you, partly because it makes things easier for me.

I also tend to champion the underdog – the kid who just doesn’t fit in. It’s OK if they don’t fit, accept them anyway. My rule has always been, everybody plays.

We can be different, think differently, worship differently, love differently – but we can all get along. Accept those things that make our world less boring. Don’t use our differences to make a wall between us.

Think how you want to think; be who you are; but allow others to do the same. And celebrate our differences – a little color in your life makes for the best bouquet.

A couple of years ago when tensions in Charlottesville rose to the point of violence over civil war monuments and what they represent to differing groups of people, I wrote a thing. I never did anything with it other than show it to a few people, but it still fits.

You are welcomed here.

You are welcomed if you are white or black or Asian or Mexican.
You are welcomed if you are a Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or atheist.
You are welcomed if you are Republican or Democrat or Independent or Communist or Libertarian.

You are welcomed if you are straight or gay or bi or trans.
You are welcomed if you limp or use a cane or a chair or crawl.

You are welcomed if your IQ is 150 or 57.
You are welcomed if you have fifty tattoos or none.

You are welcomed if your hair is blonde or black or purple or pink or grey or gone.
You are welcomed if you are a victim or a survivor or a healer or an addict.

You are welcomed if you are an artist or banker or rocker or redneck or nerd or geek or all of the above.

You are welcomed if you are a bigot or racist or abuser or felon or bully or jerk.

You are welcomed if you agree with me or don’t.

You are welcomed here.
But you may not bring your hate inside.

#LearnLove

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What matters to you? Let me know at rsmith@crestonnews.com.

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