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National Editorials & Columns

Reading the newspaper is a great way to start family discussions

Reading a newspaper in my home is quite an event. My husband knows it is best if he reads it first. If he doesn’t get the chance he likes me to highlight articles he might be interested in to read. 

The problem is the way I read a newspaper makes it hard for others to read after me.  My reading behavior is quite atrocious. First of all I scan the entire paper. Then I start on page one and read carefully throughout the paper.

As I read, I mark articles I want to reread. Now, the third time through is why my husband wants to be sure and read it before me because otherwise he’ll be reading along and find that part of his article is missing.

I have cut out an article and what he wants to read is on the back, so he has a major hole and he has to find the pieces. It is understood that the crossword is mine. I don’t share it, so sometimes he finds the rest of his article on the back of the crossword page. 

If he would just listen and read the newspaper first, he wouldn’t need to do so much hunting. At least he never complains.

It is important that newspapers are available to the family and that parts of it are read by everyone in the family. These are good discussion starters. I must admit my love of newspapers comes from my grandfather who helped publish one for more than 50 years.

I admit I am prejudiced and want everyone to enjoy at least two newspaper subscriptions, the local one, and the state one and if possible a national one.  Each presents a different side of our history much more thoroughly than television or radio can. Also, you can cut out articles and scrapbook with them.

Do you have memories of lying on the floor reading a book, newspaper, magazine, etc.? I hope so. It isn’t important what parts interest us most, but that we read regularly about what is happening in our world and nation.

One thing I learned about from the newspaper recently was a meeting with the school board candidates. I hope you went to vote, Tuesday. This election will make a difference in the education of children in the Newton area.

These candidates were willing to give of their time to share their thoughts with us that night. They were also willing to give of their time to serve on the school board. I felt that two hours of my time was little to give in comparison.

I expected that the room wouldn’t be able to hold all those who gathered. Since I knew only one of the candidates, I wanted to know something about each of the others and I praise them and The League of Women Voters who sponsored the occasion.

An added plus was to get to meet our new superintendent.

Voting is such an important part of my rights in our country. So many men and women have died or been maimed so that I have the right to vote in local elections, state elections, and national elections. 

I know that they died or were maimed so I could choose not to vote, but my discipline for myself is that if I don’t vote I don’t complain. I believe that one vote makes a difference.

I also know that in voting I take a bite of responsibility when those I vote for do well and feel embarrassed when they do not do well.

So many people give of their time and abilities to serve in some type of elected capacity. Oh, yes, I know most of the nasty jokes about anyone who is involved in politics. 

I also know from the politicians within my own family and those of many friends the other side of the story. It’s true that literacy does lead to decisions. Part of the mission statement of our school system is to encourage thinking. 

Thinking comes with a price, the price of time. Do we expect our children to learn to think and refuse to do so ourselves?

There are times I feel like I can’t read enough. When I hear someone say “I didn’t know about that,” I wonder if the information was there, but it wasn’t read, listened to, or heeded. 

I’m thankful there are invitations to learn about candidates and others things and I hope I don’t miss them. I’m glad there are places to call if I don’t feel I have enough information.  

I hope I will keep reading, questioning, listening, and heeding in all matters until I leave this earth and join with God in Heaven.

Until next week — Christine Pauley

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