Editorial: Can we all win?

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Photo: Ferdinand Reus

Rockton-Roscoe News is less than a year old, and we can't change the world. But that doesn't mean we can't try to make it better.

In recent decades, it feels like neighbors have less in common than we used to. But that's not completely true. We still share the same hopes and desires for happiness, for successful relationships, and certainly for food and shelter. If there's a political party lobbying for unhappiness and against successful relationships, it doesn't win many elections. We might not feel like being a cooperative driver during rush hour, but mathematicians tell us that the more cars on the road, the more we need to cooperate.

What has changed is that more of us assume that life is a "zero-sum game," where if one person wins, someone else has to lose. I'm not sure that's usually true either. Please don't try it at home. Your spouse will thank you.

Journalism - what I do - deals with facts, information, and opinions. And it's not a zero-sum game. If one person is right, it doesn't mean another person is wrong. Proving someone else wrong doesn't prove you're right. Opinions can and should change.

In fact, if you set up barricades, always claiming your side is right and always claiming the "other side" is wrong, nobody will be convinced. Wise people know that nobody is always right, and real people don't divide into neat "sides." Around here, there is no anti-snowplow faction and no pro-pothole faction. We all agree on some things. We have to live with each other.

Sometimes the zero sum game sounds more like a scorched earth policy. We don't know for sure that we have the answers, but we sure don't want the other side to contribute to them. Until we can win, we don't want anyone to win.

As a journalist, I want to push past the barricades, get to the truth of what people in the Roscoe-Rockton area really need, and find out how we can make it happen. Sometimes it may require compromise, but if we see people as neighbors and not as competitors, it will be worth it.

We published a version of the article on April 26, 2021.

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