Truth… Stranger Than Fiction: By Dave Pearce
Just for a moment, take yourself deep into Posey County. Pretend you are at an intersection of two roads you have traveled thousands of times. It is 3 a.m. and there is a stop light and you just hit it red. You can see for a mile in both directions. Do you look carefully and then proceed through the stop light or do you sit there and wait the two or three minutes until the light turns green. That, my friend, is the best way to explain one of the primary differenced between my wife and I.
To my wife, everything is either black or white…either right or wrong. To me, there is sometimes a gray area. I can tell you first hand that my wife would sit in the dark on the country road and wait for the light to turn green. I can also tell you that I, on the other hand, would stop, look both directions, and would probably go ahead through the stop light, even though it is red. That’s the area I like to call common sense. My wife insists that it is a black and white issue and it is wrong to proceed through the red light, regardless of the circumstances.
I can tell you from many years of experience that it has been a great 23 years living with a woman who has the “black and white” mentality. That is why she is involved in the banking industry and that is why she does the bookkeeping for the newspaper. I, on the other hand, sometimes have to figure out ways to get information for stories and that information sometimes comes from information gathered in the gray area.
Sometimes I feel a necessity to pay attention to the conversation of those around me who have no idea who I am or what I am doing. I am a listener and use many of the “tips” I pick up from the conversations of others to gather story information. Even thought they may not be talking to me, it is part of the training I received when I was in an investigative journalism class. I also learned that just because you hear it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is 100 percent true. However, even most rumors contain a partial truth and some merit. If I hear it and think the public needs to know, I will usually go straight to the source and begin to gather accurate information for the story. You would be surprised how much you can gather if you stop talking so much and start listening more. Those of you who know me know I talk an incredible amount. Those who know me well know that I also am a listener. I take to heart things that I hear face-to-face or even from a third party.
Just today, Sheriff Greg Oeth told me that an arrest was made this morning, due to a tip that was passed along to me on my Facebook page. I took the tip seriously and Greg called me this morning to let me know that thanks to that tip, an arrest was made. Was that information from the black and white area or would that be considered in the gray area?
I guess the point I am trying to make is there are definitely people that are better off living in their black and white world. They are the ones who help keep a handle on those of us who believe in “the gray area.”
Some recent issues at our church have been based on these same premises. My wife is one who has been taught to live strictly by the rules. If the rules are in place, she believes, they are to be followed. And even if it is up to her to speak her mind regarding the subject, she is going to see that things are done by the rules.
I, on the other hand, can see the merit of sometimes operating in the “gray” area or what I like to refer to as “the common sense area.” Sometimes I think common sense trumps black and white. But when the day is finished. I believe there is a time and a place for both the black and white and the gray.
This difference in the two areas has served Connie and I will during our married years. She has been there to serve as a limitation as to how far I can take my idea of “common sense” and I have been there to perpetuate the “common sense” approach to some of our differences. It also serves me well from the newspaper standpoint as I know the bookkeeping portion of the job is always going to go strictly by the books. That helps me rest easier at night.
Just goes to show you that the old riddle…What’s black and white and re(a)d all over actually is the newspaper. It is operated by someone who is black and white and another who is gray all over. It all goes back to one of the first books that was given to me when I entered the world of newspaper. The title of the book…”First, Break all the Rules.”
I’ve been an excellent student!