Star Light, Star Bright

Too often, I think I’ve got this whole world figured out.

I think I know where I’m going, what I’m doing and where I’m supposed to be. And then, I sit outside on a a star-filled night and realize that I’ve ventured off base – again.

So, I put my world back into perspective on Sunday night on my way home from a weekend at my parents’ house.

I stared out the window of my truck for an extended period of time and said, “You know, looking at the stars makes me feel really small.”

My world is put in perspective when I realize that I am just this little tiny part of a big huge universe.

I realize that life beyond me abounds in ways I’ll never fully understand. And I realize that I don’t often expand my world enough.

I had a high school friend share a quote with me once. I’m not sure where she got it or why, but it lives with me yet today as I stare up at the sky.

“You make your world so much bigger just by acknowledging everyone elses.”

But why should I, a newspaper editor, have trouble acknowledging the worlds of other people? After all people are my business.

Actually, in this commerce-driven, consumer-based society, people are the mainstay of many businesses. My point is that they should be more.

Not that they shouldn’t be the basis of these businesses, but that’s not all they should be.

In the newspaper business, people are often seen as the stories they can tell.The school bus driver can tell the story of the muddy wet country roads this winter. A four-year-old child can tell of what he wants for Christmas this year. The father of an active soldier can tell of how he misses his son this season. In this business, we care a lot about this information.

But caring about these tidbits of life does not mean we’re acknowledging the worlds of these people. We’re acknowledging the small part of their world that relates to us. We’re not looking at their world through their eyes, but we should be.

The soldier’s father also has a daughter who is getting married this week. He has three grandchildren who will be getting a puppy for Christmas. He and his wife just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last week. He’s got pain in his knee that the doctors just can’t seem to identify. And he loves strawberry ice cream, although he has a difficult time finding it in the store.

This is just a little bit more about the world of one man.

It would take a dozen columns to begin to do justice to the wonder and beauty of his world.

And I hope that like me, he realizes he’s not alone, but that he is one star among millions that shines down on this earth, helping us see the beauty of the whole sky.