Balancing act

I thought myself prepared, as this is my first effort as a columnist for The Evening Sun, to avoid rambling. Yet I’m hoping for some leniency in this regard as I get down to business and attempt to address some issues which, in my opinion, are significantly impacting our community and the country as a whole.

A little background.

I began writing for our hometown daily newspaper nearly 10 months ago, a position I never really expected to find myself in and one that has changed my life inexplicably. To put it simply, when our esteemed editor first shook my hand and said “Welcome to the team,” I was caught up in a whirlwind of emotions – excitement, intimidation, hope and more than a little fear. At the time I had no idea what to expect.

Having been born and raised in Norwich, I’ve ultimately found the experience to be educational (to say the least), emotional, enlightening and most of all, surprising. I’ve always been a touch partial to my particular view of the world and the environment of the newsroom has had a profound impact on those attitudes; it’s changed me in ways I can not even begin to describe.

As stated, I grew up here in the City of Norwich. I know the sights, sounds, people and events for which it’s known, well, like the back of my hand. Being an Evening Sun staff writer has taught me the importance of that experience. In addition, I read, and react, to the news much differently now.

At times, it’s difficult not to get discouraged when I read of our school district’s continued suffering due to these troubled economic times or the various instances of crime and violence in our community. As I said, I look at things a bit differently now and it’s easy to see the impact these things have on every level. I tell myself that things weren’t always this way in Norwich, yet perhaps I was simply too young to recognize the symptoms.

However, I think it would be hard to argue the fact that the youth of our community face challenges and deal with issues unlike anything the older generations have experienced. I certainly do not envy them the world they’re inheriting and, for better or for worse, it will be up to them to succeed in overcoming the many obstacles which stand in their way.

Yet in my time here at the paper, I’ve noticed that, in most cases, the good outweighs the bad and for every negative, there’s usually a positive. I suppose you could call it a balancing act.

In many ways that balancing act represents a number of situations and issues facing our city, county and country today. Poor versus rich, Democrat versus Republican, right versus left, Christian versus Muslim, et cetera, et cetera.

It’s obvious that the youth of today live in a much different world and I continue to ask myself, is there more bad news today or is it simply easier to access? In this day and age the planet is a much smaller place. Kids today have cell phones and laptops, they have access to a vast communication network unlike anything I could’ve imagined as a child. I wonder if any one over the age of 30 can truly comprehend what they deal with on a daily basis.

In the end, I simply hope we can all come together to make this community everything it possibly can be – safe, educational, entertaining, challenging, fun and worthy of being called home. It all comes down to the decisions we make and the many ways we can positively impact others. It may be a balancing act – the good versus the bad – but it’s certainly possible.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.

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