Cyndi's Two Cents

Faith in humanity renewed

Commentary.

As someone whose tools of the trade are the written and spoken word, it saddens me to see media and social platforms being used to showcase bad behavior. Otherwise kind, caring, respectful individuals become aggressive, mean-spirited bullies using words as weapons against friends, family, and complete strangers.

I monitor, but do not edit, comments on my company social media platforms.  I do, however, review every comment posted to the Brownfield Ag News website before I approve it for public view. If the language is inappropriate and unsuitable, in my opinion, for a general audience, I will clean it up before making public.  I always *note the change in the copy so am not putting words in someone else’s mouth (or taking them out in this case.) If the comment is all trash talk and name-calling, I simply hit the delete key on my computer.

In recent months, I’ve seen an uptick in the amount of cruel and bitter comments spewed across all platforms. It’s disheartening.

Worn out and wearied by so much unnecessary ugliness, experiences over the past couple of weeks have renewed my faith in humanity.

My father-in-law, Bill Puyear, died recently. The outpouring of love and support from friends and family was – still is -overwhelming. Calls, cards, texts, emails, memorial gifts, and acts of kindness are abundant. Because we live several hours away from my husband’s family farm, we needed help covering farm chores. We didn’t have to ask. There was a line of volunteers.

Very few times do we find the words to express our sympathies when a family member dies, but a whole bunch of people tried on that Monday morning at the funeral home. Those who could not be there let us know they were there in spirit.

The thoughtfulness and respect from people with whom we’ve rarely if ever crossed paths was impactful: The policemen who stood beside their cars, hats in hands as the line of cars drove by on the way to the cemetery; the cars, pick-ups, delivery vans and semi-trucks hauling grain and fuel that pulled off IL 121 as we passed by on our 8-mile drive from Sullivan to the Marrowbone Township Cemetery outside of Bethany.

We met up with some of Jim’s high school friends at The Publisher, a bar and grill in his hometown the evening after the funeral services. The first thing Jim saw when he sat down was a small, laminated card with a picture of his dad and notice of services laying on the bar top. The young waitress saw him pick up the card and asked if we knew the man in the picture. “He was my dad,” Jim said. The handful of people in the historic building which once housed the local newspaper offered condolences.

Grief is personal and unique to everyone, as are expressions of grief. There are details about this time of mourning that may fade from our memories over the years. However, the love of family and friends, the kindness of strangers and the overwhelming sense of community we experienced will live forever in our hearts.

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