On heart and soul

Writer feels like we all have our part to play in keeping a local community vibrant

Editor,

Re: Letter to the editor “Interior News self-promotion goes too far (Interior News, March 11, 2020).

You are right, Greg Brown, the Smithers Interior News is not the heart and soul of the community.

The people are the heart and soul of the community.

I did appreciate your concluding statement that you value “the role community papers such as the Interior News have played, do play, and have the opportunity to play in our society.”

Once again, you are right. Smithers Interior News is not the heart and soul of the community, but still an essential, even vital, part of the community.

And I would respectfully challenge your statement: “if you stopped publishing for a month would our community die without this so-called heart and soul.”

I may be only one reader, but I would miss the presence of the Interior News because I see the paper as a mirror of the heart and soul of the community, reflecting back to all of us what “heart” and “soul” truly means. And man, I don’t know about you, but in today’s world, I need constant reminders of what “heart” and “soul” truly means.

The word heart has its roots in courage, bravery and inner strength.

And the word soul (in its non-religious context) is about realizing the essence of one’s presence in the place that is called home.

You have only to pick up any edition of the Interior News to see people enacting their courage, finding their inner strength, pushing the boundaries of what they can do and be. These are all vital qualities needed in this fast-changing uncertain world.

Next to the library, I would say that community papers, such as the Interior News, have the potential to be amongst the last bastions of true democracy, where news from all sides is reported and in-depth, not just the usual often-biased 280 character limits of social media.

The Interior News opens my eyes to others’ plight, to others’ ways of seeing and experiencing the world. It helps me to see my own biases and prejudices. And yes, it helps me to see others’ biases and prejudices. I think you would agree that this kind of knowledge and awareness is how bridges are built — and we will need every bridge possible to face the future.

The world is changing rapidly and in many fearful ways.

And it is community that will help us all. To not only survive, but to thrive.

And it is the heart and soul of community that is so needed for that thriving.

Over my lifetime, I have lived in 15 different communities, large and small, city and tiny hamlet, across Canada. And I would say that the Bulkley Valley is one of the most vibrant, connected, caring and innovative communities that I have ever come across. And it is all because of people like you and your fellow elected officials across the region, and people like those who work hard to get it right at Interior News, and people whose efforts and hard work are showcased in the Interior News, and people who care deeply about this small but vibrant part of the world and are willing to do their part to make it better, to preserve for it, the future it so richly deserves.

Patou Lehoux

Telkwa, B.C.

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