Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When it Matters - 11-4-09 Editor's Column

Given the events of the last three days, I would feel irresponsible if I didn’t talk about them in some way.

We currently find ourselves experiencing something that most people, in the back of their minds, hope never happens in their lifetimes in their community.

And why wouldn’t they? More often than not, when one moves to a community, the idea is to move somewhere that feels safe and somewhere with a feeling of home.

Unfortunately, that feeling is likely missing for many in Mahomet today.

However, no one should question whether or not Mahomet is a safe place. As horrific as it is to consider what took place this week, this is still a community in which everyone should feel safe to walk down the street and where residents can go to bed with comfort.

Should we be shaken? Of course we should. But to that end, we should be questioning something other than the safety of our town and exploring something other than how we can prevent something like this again.

Instead, we should be taking this time in the wake of the death of a young woman to come together as a community and demonstrate that we are exactly what the news said we are Monday night while reporting on the matter: “tight-knit.”

For example, our children will more than likely have questions about what happened that we will have to answer with the best of our abilities.

We will likely have friends and neighbors who will need calming and reassurance through the conversations that we have over the course of the next several weeks.

Even our own senses of safety will come into question as many of us will likely end up asking that popular two-letter question, “What if?”

Fortunately, we have the opportunity to be exactly what we need. We can be exactly what our children and our neighbors and even what we ourselves need as we gather more details on this situation.

After all, what’s the point of calling ourselves a community if, instead of banding together for the sake of those around us, we splinter and avoid the chance to talk about things?

In this instance, just as it should in all instances, our social status has no bearing on the fact that we are a community of people who need each other right now.

Now is the time to embody what so many of us take pride in with this community - our ability to band together when it matters the most. Because right now, we are all extensions of same individual, asking the same questions, feeling the same fears and trying to maintain the same calm.

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