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‘Outsiders’ can remind us of our principles  

I recently traveled to an event at Rockbridge Trout Farm. I was fortunate to have friends living nearby to stay with.

While there, I met their niece. She had just been hired at Rockbridge as a rental property manager. She expressed not only her surprise in being hired at the end of the tourist season, but also how impressed she was with the business and how well they cared for their employees. The business has been developed over several generations, and provides full time employment for largely all family members. Their specific interest in hiring her was because they wanted her ‘untainted, outsider’ perspective on how they were doing things.

In Dekalb County, it seems we have long been in need of a fresh perspective as well. As our community has wrestled with divisive issues, some residents have proudly proclaimed that the years they’ve lived here makes their input more important than ‘newcomers’. I even played that card myself at a public hearing, mentioning that my family were residents since 1948—as if that made my input more valuable.

I’ve grown to see how misguided this thinking is. Inhabitants that have settled here from far flung places have a unique perspective of how special this area is/was—to all of us. Many residents of Dekalb and neighboring counties have lived elsewhere, with utility development. They chose this area, without it, to put their roots deep.

I found a comment that I think sums up what has happened pretty well. It goes like this:

“When the ‘common good’ of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.”

This statement implies that if I can be convinced that it is in the common good of all, to sacrifice the individual good of some (someone other than me), then it becomes ingrained in me that it’s just fine to ignore the good of some, for the supposed greater good of all.

This flies in the face of every principle this country was founded upon, and it is a lie. It is good to stop and recognize lies so they can be exposed for what they are.

The law of this nation has never agreed that it is fine to take from someone else, so that I can have what I want—no matter how many great, swelling words are used to dress up the same.

But wait—both sides of an issue might read the above and each identify that their particular ‘good’ is being harmed.

How to solve that dilemma?

Primum non nocere—Latin for ‘to first do no harm’, is the unchanging foundation for Hippocratic medical ethics. When the fog gathers thick, this statement can point the way to a clearer perspective.

Though corporations have always chased profits at the expense of people’s health, the thinking citizen can never condone it. One view on such activity is addressed by Senator Tom Brewer in a letter titled “Wind Energy Is Not Nebraska Nice”. It can be found on the internet, and is a thought provoking look at the issue: something the citizens of this county might find as an interesting ‘outsider’ perspective.

Glenda Aughinbaugh
Stewartsville, MO

[Published in: St. Joseph News-Press, Dekalb County Record Herald, Citizen-Observer (Cameron), and The Leader (Clinton County).]

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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