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Passionate about our passions

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Barnes Summer Mug for ColumnPUBLISHER POINTS #11 by Kelli Barnes

An election year beginning in 18 weeks is lingering in the back of many minds, and for some, is already more consuming than thoughts of cooler weather, rain, football, pumpkins, and Santa.

Those individuals who are thinking about politics 24/7 no matter the year, are either “called” to politics as an elected official or “called” to be a watchdog of elected officials. They could also be someone who likes (or thrives on) a good political argument.  In general, the rest of society either stays informed and votes, or decides to ignore it all. For this group, thinking about it all the time is unthinkable. Where do you fit in?

Before we get too hard on the politicians, watchdogs, lobbyists, etc. it is good to be reminded it is healthy to have a passion in this life. The most passionate of people are the makers of change. We should never suggest someone called to teaching, is an idiot for being in that career. We would never consider someone who runs a soup kitchen or backpack program feeding the poor week after week, year after year, crazy. If someone spends all their free time gardening, or fishing, or traveling, or with grandchildren, or volunteering … they are allowed, without prejudice.

The point is, we should acknowledge some in our society are called to politics, are passionate about it, and it is their hope to help create a better life for generations to come. They consider it a community service, even a labor of love.

I believe many people desire to have civility in politics. Friends, family, co-workers, and community members should be able to agree to disagree, to express their opinions to one another without being ostracized. Quality discussions need to replace cutdowns. And every citizen needs to vote. 

We may not be able to do anything about the toxic division politics is creating and feeding on a national or even a state level, but we can start at home. Let’s agree to be passionate about preserving conversation and relationships. This simple yet profound action can change things for good … even politics.

Our news organization has active social media pages on Facebook (Polk County Enterprise, San Jacinto News-Times, Trinity County News-Standard, Tyler County Booster) and we are interested in engaging with you, our readers, about happenings in the community. Also watch for our message board on easttexasnews.com beginning Oct. 1. This will provide another opportunity to share information, photos, and have discussions with your community.

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