Editor’s Note: ‘Along the Trail’ is a weekly column written by David Hewitt of Switzerland County; and covers all things dealing with the outdoors, from hunting and fishing to woodsmanship.
I know that I can’t be the only one that sick and tired of the news lately.
Whether it’s the local news from Cincinnati or Louisville or the national news media, the sensationalism of stories has me fed up. The news media is no longer about covering news, it’s about making news. Amping up stories, being provocative, encouraging divisiveness, the politics, the one sided reporting make me want to turn off the television or smash my computer screen.
As the news saying goes, “If it bleeds, it leads” has never been more true as urban areas of our country seem to be more like war zones with people shooting each other daily and the crime rate going through the roof – and small towns aren’t immune to our own versions of scandal, criminal activity, rumors and gossip. It goes on everywhere and I see it daily in my job. It makes my blood boil.
It’s times like this that I seek the sanctuary of the outdoors and a rural lifestyle.
I’m a better version of myself when I’m in the country. Whether it’s a hike to my deer woods or checking a black berry patch, a quick fishing trip or a slow drive through the county can do wonders for my blood pressure. When I’m “out there”, I often think about what my parents and grandparents think of today’s world we live in.
My grandma and grandpa came from a generation that still used horses and buggies on a regular basis and my folks aren’t spring chickens any longer and have witnessed unbelievable changes in their lifetimes.
Some good, others not so much.
Sure, we have fantastic technology that has made our life easier and more comfortable. We have instant access to information and anything we’d want to know. We live in a 24 hour news cycle world and have everything at the touch of our fingers through our smart phones. But, has that technology and knowing everything the minute it happens made our lives better or just easier or just more complicated?
I don’t know – but, I do know that for me, I find myself craving a more simple time, a more slowed down pace.
Maybe I’m just nostalgic with the 4-H fair being this week and all the fond memories I have of my sisters and I being 10 year members of 4-H and how much fun we had at our fairs. But, I can’t help but believe that things such as 4-H, FFA, horse shows, archery clubs, vacation bible schools and summer camps are more of what this country and our young people need.
The values of growing up in a rural lifestyle, the responsibility that comes from handling and taking care of livestock, the life lessons that can be learned through time spent outdoors, the simple memories made by taking a kid fishing for bluegills. Those are the things we need to be concentrating on. Teaching our youth to be good people, to get along with one another, to be productive.
We race around, spinning our wheels, chasing dollars. We feed our minds with negative news, we’re bombarded by it everyday! We worry about flags in other states, who can marry whom, who’s a Democrat or who’s a Republican and all sorts of other things that in the big scheme of things, don’t matter in the least. We spend all week anticipating the weekend and in the blink of an eye it’s gone only to start the process all over again.
So, if you’re like me and had your fill of negativity and you need a break from the hustle and bustle, go to the fair, eat an ice cream cone, watch some kids showing animals and it just might give you some hope that our future isn’t as bad as the 6 p.m. news makes it out to be.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to fling some arrows in my back yard!
- David Hewitt