There's no 'winning' in back-and-forth letters

Posted: Tuesday, July 01, 2003

The recent letters survey has been interesting and enlightening. If nothing else we should be reassured the First Amendment's alive and well in Juneau.

We've all chosen to live in our relatively small, majestic and somewhat isolated setting. This certainly was my attraction and motivation for raising my kids here and I'm eternally humbled, grateful and fully aware of the benefits of having been able to do so. I would encourage any interested writers to express their opinion about the survey and discussion process so we all, as a community, might know more fully what's in each of our hearts and how we each see this forum and its role in our lives.

In my opinion, this exchange of thoughts is really a fascinating, enjoyable and educational process, and for the most part has a distinctly local dynamic. Clearly the issues more often than not are of national and international importance, and no doubt become a bit more heated (as perhaps is appropriate) at critical times. But when you flesh it out, generally we're hashing it out among ourselves.

Though I've never read a letter or editorial that I didn't respect and recognize as having been written in sincerity and clarity, I've learned that any position or issue can be refuted or reproached with a bit of research. So in reality, what we're doing is bantering things back and forth among ourselves. There really is no such thing as "winning" an argument.

Having said that, my instincts and the part I most enjoy are doing so with the hopes of informing and agreeing to disagree with folks you respect and recognize as competent and responsible, with a bit of home spun humor added from time to time.

In short it's interesting, informative, a bit of tradition and a break from the monotony and stress of all our lives with an occasional chuckle thrown in.

Many of us know each other well, and we all know from whence we come and live. So, with a clear conscious in knowing the Associated Press nor Reuters is following any of us around clamoring after our next breath of wisdom or our sage and guru-like epistles, nor are any of us anxiously sitting by the phone waiting for the Pulitzer people to call, I suggest we enjoy, savor and nurture what we have.

That's what's in my heart.

Jody Liliedahl


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