Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Letters to the editor

August 22, 2001

To the editor:

Habitat for Humanity would like to thank the Santa Fe Market and the Baldwin Care Center for their cooperation with our aluminum can recycling project. These businesses agreed to allow Habitat for Humanity to place recycling bins on their property.

If you know of a business that would like to help Habitat for Humanity with either volunteer work or a place for a recycling bin, please contact Kyrstan Hubbel at 594-3711 or

Kyrstan Hubbel

Baldwin City

To the editor:

Citizens For Baldwin City (CFBC), in addition to sponsoring the July Fourth Community Fireworks Display, has established the goal of upgrading our city parks. This will be a time consuming and labor intensive project, considering the age and condition of many of the parks.

The first step in this process is to survey Baldwin City residents in order to discover what it is people want done in these areas. The locations CFBC are focusing on include 11th Street, the park by the depot, Third & Grove (pool), Washington & Ames (currently maintained by BPW), and possibly the 43-acre city lake.

If you are given a CFBC survey to respond to PLEASE FILL IT OUT. We want and need to know what you think.

We also urge people to write to CFBC at P.O. Box 963 with ideas, pledges of time and/or monetary support, etc. As with the July Fourth celebration, this project will benefit the community as a whole and it we will need the help of many businesses and individuals to establish and maintain these upgrades.

We are currently planning several informational and fundraising events for this project. Please read the Signal and watch for flyers around town.

Thank you,

President, Dana Robertson


To the editor:

When I first read Maureen Waters' column, "Sgt. Shultz has key to living life," I was disturbed. But the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that this must be a very subtle and dry attempt at humor. Usually, I'm the first to yell, "Oh, lighten up! Get a sense of humor," when I read an overly sensitive, self-righteous, humor-deficient tirade in response to something composed with the author's tongue firmly planted in his or her cheek.

But this time, I guess I got caught. Surely Ms. Waters was being ironic when she suggested that we follow the lead of a sitcom Nazi officer who turns a blind eye to the activities around him in order to maintain his "values and core essence." Surely, she intended to point out that because huge numbers of people did just that chose not to see what was going on around them, chose not to get involved in other people's dramas we ended up with one of history's biggest tragedies.

And the point of this dry humor must have been to hint that we live in a world in which people have grown so busy, and isolated and insulated from their environment, that in general, we're an apathetic bunch, nearly incapable of working up the energy to notice, let alone rage against, injustice.

Ms. Waters is right, office politics and gossip are energy-sucking and destructive activities that should be avoided. But that's as far as the self-preserving notion of wearing blinders should go. Those who isolate and shield themselves from their neighbors and their neighbors' antics may think they've achieved a sense of quiet calm but what a hollow and lonely existence it must be.

Instead of urging people to focus inward, we could use a few more people with a sense of community people who see the world around them, see what needs to be done, then go out and do it. We could use a few more people who try to leave things better than they were when they found them, people who try to get to know their neighbors and find common ground, instead of making assumptions and silently judging from behind drawn curtains.

Sure, sometimes when you get involved in someone else's drama you find yourself in a no-win situation and you have indeed wasted time and energy. But it's worth enduring a few energy-sapping encounters to make sure you don't miss an opportunity to care, to comfort, to encourage, to listen, to celebrate, or just to let someone get something off his chest. Sometimes the impact is small; sometimes you make a real difference.

Being involved in my world gives me a sense of well-being, and the energy and desire to keep going forward. This is how I know I'm not alone and that the world is more good than evil.

It seems to me that one must tread a fine line when adopting this Sgt. Shultz philosophy. It's one thing to mind your own business and not get worked up every time something irritates you, to let things slide, to pick your battles. But it's quite another to withdraw and concentrate solely on personal aspirations, and to avert your eyes when you see something you don't like or that makes you uncomfortable.

Sadly, this is a lesson we must continually reinforce.

Annette Pierce

Baldwin City

Commenting has been disabled for this item.