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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     I have really gotten out of my comfort zone lately. In the last month alone I’ve attended a lecture, two plays and took part in an impromptu discussion about leadership. It’s almost scary to think about the culture I have been exposed to, for I am sure it will lead to not wearing white socks with black shoes and something akin to a sweater vest. Before I know it words like “Delightful” and “Cheery” will start to slip into my vocabulary and I’ll finally learn about wine that doesn’t come out of a box.

     It certainly may ruin many of the manly country-boy pursuits that I enjoy now. I’m sure at some point I’ll find beer “boringly tasteless”, start paying attention to Grand Prix racing because NASCAR is just “too unsophisticated” and before anyone can stop me, I will have given up my Green Bay Packers to follow some third world soccer team. It makes me shudder to think about it.

The entire think really made me think how fortunate I am to live in a small community where fun activities like the theater, or live music or even lectures rarely take place. I’m sure that I couldn’t live in a larger city where the lure of such magnificent activities is the greatest. Seriously, who could live in Des Moines and not go to Wal Mart every single day?

     It is fortunate for me that I live in a place where the most excitement we see is when someone gets a new car, or the neighbor’s cat shows up on a lost poster at Casey’s. Certainly standing along side the road watching cars go by all day has to be a good way to develop deep thought, and just because there is this “internet” thing doesn’t mean that I would ever have to use it. (Did you know that some businesses do everything “online”?)

     Besides when am I ever going to need to find any culture and knowledge in this community? Nope, I should just give my kids a stick and a rock and tell them to figure things out on their own. Certainly my honor student can complete her research paper using the 1967 encyclopedia set that I found at a rummage sale for a dime. You know I’m also glad that we don’t have any little minds who can’t find something destructive to do in town instead of loosing themselves in stories of things we no longer really deem important.

     No, we wouldn’t ever have to eat green eggs and ham, and Uncle Tom will live in a condo instead of a cabin, and I’m sure Hitler was a nice guy; didn’t he run a bunch of summer camps in Europe? I’m sure the kids will get over it soon enough. They can skateboard down the sidewalks, and break windows and set things on fire just like we did back in the dark ages.

     Yes folks, maybe a bit of this is tongue in cheek, and yes, I did really attend all of those cultural events. But it is also how I feel about the library. We are fortunate to live in a small town without violence and drugs and gangs, but then again I’m sure we wouldn’t have those things the first day after the library was closed for good. And I am quite certain that most of the kids around here would rather spend all their time in front of the television with a game control in their fat little fingers. Who needs books, and stories, and ideas to make our minds soar?

     I’m sure to some, it is just a building, and a number on a balance sheet at the end of the year, but once it is gone, I’ll sure miss it, and I’m guessing we’ll all loose out on a little culture in the end.

     See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.