Potholes of Apathy Litter Communication Roadways

Article excerpt

Byline: Fred Norris

Editor's note: Fred Norris' column is getting a new home and new publication date. Watch for his column each Friday in the front news section, usually on Page 4.

Is anybody "listening"? Alternatively, is it all "talk" today? Do people think about what is being said? On the other hand, do they just stay rooted in their beliefs?

Remember when we thought a person's political philosophy, religious belief, business ethic and their family values came from the family or the schools that nurtured them? Just like everything else today, changes are evident as mass communication and the speedy wonders of fiber optics saturate our senses.

It seems as if everywhere I go today I hear about recurring problems in communication. Language is not the barrier, but we are still not communicating. Prevalent and perplexing is that there is understanding, nonunderstanding and misunderstanding when people get together. The art of working with and getting along with others is simple communication ... starting on a two-way street.

A good community can only exist with good communication. There has to be a common understanding on goals, security and ideals, all the caring traditions of a sharing community.

I always believed the best government was local government, because it was closest to the people. It is as close as your neighbor down the street, or the person across the aisle at the PTO or church meeting.

The Tri-Cities have always put a great deal of effort into getting information out and obtaining citizen feedback. Participation from citizens before a developer's bulldozer arrives, a roadway expanded or a bridge built can produce a smart plan and deal with the realities of the situation.

If we look back over this past century, or even just the span of one's lifetime, we realize all that happened has been preparatory to the next event. While we have made phenomenal gains in some areas, we also have tripped into the gutter in other things.

The worst sin, as I see it, is to be indifferent ... this breeds the maladjustment eroding away at the morality and spirituality of our society. We have become complacent and dumbed ourselves down. We have become indulgent of "less than expected. …