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Instead of griping, let's offer solutions

September 18, 2005|By Candace Reynolds

Perhaps in the very beginning the concept of Mail Call/You Said It in the local paper seemed like a good idea to the editor - to hear the opinions of the people in the area on not one, but many, many subjects. People could voice opinions and complaints anonymously and hope that things would be taken care of by either by the people at the newspaper, or someone just reading the complaints.

As I age, it seems that my patience runs thinner and thinner, and after reading this page for months, it has become a waste of time and energy.

Lately, if not always, these call-ins have been nothing but ridiculous with no knowledge of basic information as to why things are the way they are. The Mail Call/You Said It page has become nothing but a sounding board for some who have nothing more constructive to do with their energy and have no background on city, state or national situations and at times, not even the history and laws of the land and locality.

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One must take care of whatever problem haunts them, either by mustering up one's courage and if fortunate and blessed, enlisting the support of other human beings to help them brainstorm, write to the proper authority - getting the facts first though - and then getting answers by going to the proper source.

It may be frustrating even when you maturely, intelligently and civilly voice a problem to the proper people. It may take awhile but I do believe that people who hold an important position in this community will ultimately meet the needs of the taxpayers/supporters and things will get resolved.

I think the best way you have for effective resolution to what the problems are with this city, state or nation is to get up and make that 10-minute ride to the polls and vote. Wouldn't it be nice if the people we elected (especially in this city) were elected by 95 percent of the voters? It's irritating reading comments criticizing others who are only doing their jobs, complaining how, why, or how much they make or do - walk in their shoes for a week. People complaining about noisy neighbors, dogs, kids, etc. Go over there and speak with them, work out a compromise. People respond to kindness.

Who knows, one day you may count on one another in one way or another. If all else fails, there are resources to turn to. As for people calling in complaining or threatening the ones that stole flowers, lawn ornaments, flags, etc. Do you actually believe that these people are reading Mail Call and will have a change of heart? Life stinks at times and that's how it is.

What's the point of opinions and whining? They don't solve certain problems and sometimes they cause resentment, anger and crazy, if not inappropriate, comments. Let's have a page entitled "Solving This Problem, Your Thought/Or Give a Great Idea." When many put their brains together and hash out solutions, either by being creative or through experience, the world and our city, are better places. People are smart, even those who are not in charge of the city.

Not only can a problem be focused on for the week, but ideas for certain helpful hints for family and individuals could be included. Have the paper highlight a problem, even culminating with which ones have been complained about in Mail Call. Problems at home, the schools, the city, city departments, etc. Ask what could be done with an abandoned area in the city that would help the citizens in some way.

Send in your thoughts of how you, as a parent, deal with the bullying at school of your child - what worked. What was the greatest birthday party you had for your child, including all instructions.

How about the best vacation for your family of four or six, within a certain price range - places no one thought of or heard of. Some families may take a vacation with their kids for the first time. Wouldn't that be great for those children? How about what's the best way you dealt with family discord. How you got your children through a death in the family. How about people's ideas and/or recipes for the best of this or that?

Even medical treatments that work wonders on certain normal afflictions like poison ivy, sunburn, etc. How about what works in dealing with negative behavior in your teenager and what discipline works like magic for you to help them comply with your wishes. And this could even extend to pet behavior - how you got your dog to stop this or that. What to do to help a lonely neighbor - it might not take much at all. And last, people's ideas to make the downtown the place to be. Of course, some of people's ideas would have to be looked at by higher ups, but it puts the thought in their heads.

I would much rather spend my free time reading an article that is short and sweet and that will in some way help me to improve my life here in Hagerstown and perhaps the lives of others.

Why can't the citizens of this county help to solve problems we face by voicing our ideas instead of questioning why this one or that one does this or that?

Candace Reynolds
Hagerstown

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