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OPINION: It's time for what?

by Susan Holland | January 4, 2022 at 12:55 p.m.

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to make resolutions or at least one resolution for the new year. The annual 'Cuff trance to make predictions just got buried in all of the crazies that have had a hold on our country, or the whole world, and too often for individuals for far too long.

The old gray matter has been dancing jigs and falling on its knees and at the same time singing that old saying, "It's gonna get better if we just let it take its time." The trouble is, nobody knows completely just what "it" is or how long that time will be.

There's enough finger-pointing and growling just to lie or sue or turn up hatred revenge for whatever, whomever, or because, just because ... so ... it's time to listen to tree talk.

"What's that?" You say, "A tree talks. You gotta be kidding!"

The simple response is, "Yes, a tree will talk all the time if we will just listen. At times it very happily lifts its arms to the breeze, but there are other times when it groans for attention. It tries moaning among its branches that its fingers need to be trimmed, that those minerals it eats from the earth are getting low and, in the hot, dry summers, the leaves sag sadly, saying, "If we could just have a drink."

If we pay attention or listen closely, we can hear or sense a tree's subconscious yearnings which we too often ignore completely. Or, like the old geezer thinks: "I'll get around to it one of these days." And you know what happens: A few days, or rather a few months, or even a few years pass and one day you look up at that old tree and notice it's shedding its leaves early. There are bare branches that occasionally fall off. And you think, "I hope a limb the size of a railroad tie never comes tumbling down."

When that crash occurred, not only did it fall across this deck, it put a small dent in the neighbor's car but, fortunately, it didn't break a window. But out of the big blue sky, the phones began to ring and the storytelling began, followed by -- you guessed it -- red hot tale reports on the computers you wouldn't believe. The car's glass splattered the entire interior of the car and the hood will have to be completely replaced and so on. Surprisingly, it took three days before the tale-teller reported a man was taken to the emergency room ... and there you have it: The tree's story and the stories of real troublemakers. It's as simple as that. Trees don't tell tall tales, and humans top the Empire State Building with all kinds of so-called facts.

Both the tree owner and the neighbor began to clean up the mess and not a bad word was spoken between them. Both of the men must have made that welcome resolution sometime in their past and the world kept turning with the sun rising in the morning and setting in the west. The tall tales sound like some of the news you hear on the tube. Too many of those stories aren't real news -- they end up as opinions that keep stirring the kettle to whatever they think will bring the tuner-inners. Who and what do we believe?

The same problems occur between politicians in our good old democracy, as well as between nations of the world. There is a great difference between news and opinions. Fortunately, the news pages of our daily newspaper, "The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette," are filled with news, while opinions and editorials are in a special section with the word "Opinion" heading articles which are just that. The same is true in Letters to the Editor, which are presented knowing that they sometimes have rough wordage by the writer.

So this 'Cuff boils down to this resolution: "I'll think before I begin talking or writing and, better yet, I'll try to help solve whatever problem or event occurring that can be fixed by realizing every problem fixed is one less result that could ruin a person's or a nation's life. Keeping my "Meeooism" to myself is the best answer for most problems."

That's quite a long resolution but, following its wordage, so many mixed-up problems can be overcome by just thinking before talking. That message is for every level, from the words between nations, patience and gentlemanship between politicians and quiet silence between two-people problems. Thinking before talking offers the best chance of realizing there are two sides of every problem. Work together to fix it, whatever "it" happens to be.

Simple? Not really, but, maybe it's time for some predictions for the new year. 'till next time is resolution time. Just ask a tree!

Dodie Evans is the former owner and long-time editor of The Gravette News Herald. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Print Headline: It's time for what?


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