I would like to speak to a recent letter to The Paper, in which a local business owner stated that she would no longer be carrying the Putnam County News and Recorder. Go-Go Pops’ owner Lynn Miller claimed that she considers the paper “poisonous to her customers” and that she makes an effort to carry only “wholesome and sustainable products” in her store.
The delicious products found at Go-Go Pops, which I will happily continue to enjoy, could, in fact, be considered harmful to some people. It probably would not be wise for those on sugar-, fat- or caffeine-limited diets to consume large quantities of the delectable treats found in this shop. Admittedly, this analogy is a little ridiculous, because, for the most part, it pertains to people with medical restrictions.
But do our minds have restrictions? Aren’t we limiting freethinking by refusing to read or listen to others, even if we don’t agree with their points of view or if they sometimes make mistakes? Are our egos so large that we must refrain from media that do not conform to our own ideologies?
More importantly, couldn’t we, as a society, actually benefit from listening to the opinions and perceptions of others, even if they don’t necessarily reflect our own? Couldn’t we gain valuable insight and perspective from this practice?
On the other side of the equation, I would think it best for the respective publishers of these papers, and all publishers and influential media figures for that matter, to make good judgment, fair and honest reporting, and unbiased information of the public their primary purposes.
Even more perplexing to me was the subsequent movement by a group of local residents to gather for a toast at Go-Go Pops, in praise of their decision not to carry the PCNR. In a time when it is more important than ever to teach, preach and live diversity and tolerance, this gesture is, in my opinion, rather ironic and hypocritical.
Here’s an idea. Read both papers. Inform yourself as to what motivates and drives a variety of your neighbors, not just the ones with whom you agree or align yourself. Perhaps our collective consciousness and understanding can move beyond the boundaries of our geographically small community. Free your minds, Philipstown.