The container that is me only has so much room. I have to be careful not to allow the good parts of myself to be overcome by an influx of things I have no control over. This would leave me with no strength for the important roles I have dedicated myself to: spouse, parent, homeowner, neighbor, churchgoer, employee, friend, citizen, and weekend athlete.

I don’t ignore national and world news, but I try not to be consumed by them. Yes, there is trouble in the world. Everything, it seems, is a BIG DEAL. The country is falling apart. Nature is in turmoil. Politics is out of control. But guess what? Things have always been like that. I remember when I was a kid hearing adults say much the same things that people are saying today. But what we have now is social media (unsocial media, I’d say). And instead of a daily news cycle, we have one that is moment-by-moment.

To protect myself from being overwhelmed by the news, I find that a narrower and simpler focus helps me maintain a measure of sanity.

That’s why I enjoy writing for and reading a weekly newspaper. Can you imagine in this day and age that such a thing even exists? It’s a miracle. A weekly. A paper that has a seven-day news cycle, allowing it to be scooped on most stories. Why? So that it can, once a week, report on people and events that larger news organizations wouldn’t touch.

What a pleasure to read about people and places and businesses and organizations that I know. To be informed about issues I feel a measure of control over. To look at photos of people I’ve rubbed shoulders with while buying groceries or gas or a meal. Or have applauded at a school concert or cheered for at a sporting event. Or have waved to as they drove by.

How nice to read letters to the editor, not from people two states away, but two streets. Or maybe two miles. Or perhaps so far as the next town over.

When unpleasant events happen locally, the paper has a responsibility to cover them and put them on the front page. Let’s not kid ourselves. News reporting at any level is a business. And hot stories sell papers. So, yes, as the old news biz saying goes—if it bleeds, it leads. But for every hot front-page story in a small-town newspaper, there are a dozen other informative, interesting, and uplifting stories.

What you are reading is a miracle: a weekly paper with a long history and a bright future.

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