We have all heard the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Without even realizing, it seems that is exactly what I did last week after a particularly frustrating situation took place.
I attended the City’s Finance Committee meeting Tuesday. It was not my original plan as I had a commitment with one of my children. A few people reached out to me throughout the day to say a group was gathering at the meeting who were concerned over the city’s plans to move the library. They were attending in hopes to ask questions, share fears and voice suggestions.
It sounded like it might be an event that should be covered for the paper, so I figured I could push back my plans an hour and attend.
This column is not about whether or not I agree with the moving of the library. I honestly see the concerns of community members; likewise understand the vision of the city council.
Attendees were given the chance to speak at the meeting. They were passionate about a library that they love and vocal about their need to be a part of decision making.
Council members had questions and comments shot out to them left and right and I do not feel their seats were easy chairs to sit in that night.
It was a tense discussion to be a part of and there were times that night where (to put it mildly) my blood was absolutely boiling over things that were said.
More than once the Free Press was accused of reporting certain information about the situation that was never reported in an article (the only information reported in the article announcing the city’s plans to move the library was given directly by officials at City Hall).
It seems there has been some mass confusion over a Free Press article that was posted online and figures that were posted in a comment by a reader of the article.
After an hour I knew I should get home to my child who was waiting. When library discussions were done being shared, I left the meeting. As I pulled away in my car, I was really overwhelmed by how upset I was over certain comments. I thought about sharing the things that were said in this very column and ridiculing people who I felt made inappropriate statements. That though, would have been way too easy.
I turned my car around and pulled up to City Hall. I popped back in as the meeting had adjourned. I walked up to the people who I felt had made unfair comments and told them how I felt. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but I had a discussion with each and stated my peace.
I knew I was quite tardy when returning home. I knew my children weren’t thrilled with me, one in particular. I started to explain where I had been.
I told them there were mixed feelings about the library moving. I relayed that people who felt concerned about the matter came together to talk with people who felt it was a good decision.
We had a discussion about how it is important to stand up for what you believe and how it is just as important to be able to gather with people who might have differing views, with both sides being able to share their outlook on matters. We chatted about the importance to hear and be heard.
Without going into detail, I expressed to my children statements were made that upset me earlier that night. I talked about how I could have gone home and hid behind my computer screen and called people out on social media or in print, but that wouldn’t have been right.
What I felt was right was to let them know I thought their words were unfair and some hurtful. It gave them a chance to give a true apology, if they chose to do so.
We had a talk about how although we have control over what we say, we do not necessarily have control over how those words can affect someone else.
We also talked about how we all say and do really stupid things sometimes and the significance of apologizing if you upset someone. I also relayed the importance of that apology being genuine.
I didn’t like things that transpired Tuesday, but it did give me an opportunity to chat with the kiddos about a variety of important things. I was let off the hook later as I made good on my plans with one of my children. I didn’t want to sit as they gave me the lesson on broken promises.
I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you and look forward to readers sharing their thoughts in return.
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