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Sometimes a lack of letters means more communication | Letter to the Editor
In a couple of recent issues, there have been few or no letters in the opinion section.
Initially, I was perturbed. “Democracy is a letter to the editor,” I muttered, feigning concern for the exercise of First Amendment rights. And then it came to me: The uncomfortable insight that my disappointment was not so high-minded, that I was in fact disappointed in missing my latest fix of island kerfluffle.
Then another thought came: What if a shortage of letters every so often is a sign that folks are taking their disagreements somewhere better? Perhaps it could be an indicator of neighbors crossing the street to talk with one another before their concerns become conflicts and those conflicts become grudges and those grudges then become letters in The Beachcomber. This would also be exercise of the First Amendment, but on a personal level.
Democracy is all about rights. Healthy community is all about relationships — how we express, how we listen and how hard we work to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”
Often as not, healthy community is a letter not written to the editor.
— Dan Houston
P.S. To all you good readers who’d like to have a laugh at my expense by pointing out the intrinsic irony of this letter: Sorry, my wife beat you to it.