Finding odd things to be thankful for

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2007

By the time most of you read this, you’ll fall into one of two categories.

Some of you will be eagerly anticipating the coming feast that normally makes up a Thanksgiving meal.

Still others will have already partaken, and no doubt be perusing the newspaper while your stomach settles and you’re wishing you hadn’t eaten quite so much.

But hopefully all of you are taking some time out this holiday to be thankful for your many blessings and celebrate the occasion with your families. This year I am thankful for many things similar to what everyone is thankful for, such as family and friends.

However, I’m also strangely thankful to readers who point out things in my writing that they don’t agree with or like.

This may seem like an odd thing to be grateful for, but the reason behind this is threefold.

First of all, if you can’t find the humor or positive side in any given situation, you’ll not get much enjoyment out of life.

Secondly, by having people write or call and disagree with me, it tells me that I’m doing my job. It lets me know that they are reading the paper, which is obviously the purpose of a printed publication.

And finally, I believe that getting feedback from readers – even negative feedback – enhances me as a person because it enables me to see things from a different perspective.

There are things some readers notice that they further do research on and then provide me with more information on a subject.

I appreciate this greatly because often these people have sources I had previously not come across.

(So if you ever take issue with anything I say in my column, please feel free to offer constructive criticism – I don’t mind! That’s one reason writers have e-mail addresses. Just try to be nice about it and all will be well.)

However, sometimes people take things I say completely the wrong way, or they read things into what I wrote that I did not say.

In that instance, it’s usually offensive to me because when people take things out of context and twist my words into something I did not mean, others who may have not read the original article or column get the wrong idea.

There was an incident recently where a reader took issue with a fact that I reported in an election story. I gave nothing of my opinion in the article (not that I had an opinion anyway), only the cold facts – which is what we lowly reporters are supposed to do with a news story. However, the woman didn’t like what I reported, so as a result she called and left me a very nasty voicemail, talked ugly to our circulation manager and cancelled her subscription.

The ironic thing was this woman accused me of being &uot;hateful&uot; in my article. That’s funny to me because it certainly seemed to me and the rest of the staff here that she was the one being hateful.

In any job, there are naturally going to be people who don’t like what you do. It’s just that as a reporter, so many more people see your work than they would if, say, you worked at a shoe store.

Another problem, especially with columns, can sometimes be that there is simply not space on a page to fully explain a point.

I think that was the case with my November 7 column (&uot;Windsor, it’s time for a change&uot;). I’ve been told by a couple of people that they didn’t like what I had to say, which is fine since everyone is entitled to their opinion; however, when that opinion extends to drawing erroneous conclusions is when it becomes a problem.

Let me clarify one thing to set the record straight for everyone: I in no way was endorsing underage drinking or saying that children need to go to bars.

Nor was I stating that people should drink and drive. Quite the opposite; I am against both of those things.

I think any person in their right mind would be!

However, Windsor already allows beer and wine to be sold in an eating establishment; my point was, what’s so different about mixed drinks, too?

If there were to ever come a time in Windsor’s future where we had the opportunity to get a wonderful restaurant like Chili’s or Applebee’s as a stopping point off the new bypass, then I’d hate to see that chance fall to the wayside simply because liquor by the drink isn’t allowed.

I hope everyone takes the time this year to not only be thankful for the &uot;normal&uot; things, but find something humorous or unusual to be thankful for, as well.

It certainly makes life more interesting!

Sometimes blessings can be found where you least expect them. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Want to let me know what you think?

Have a suggestion for a future column?

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