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Helping Our Community 2020

downtown Medicine LodgeAs we come to the end of 2020, everything looks different! We are living life behind masks as we go about our day-to-day activities. Instead of meeting the gaze of those passing by, eyes seem to be cast downward as we hurry through what we need to do. Instead of relaxing into conversations with others, many avoid the luxury of that connection in fear of being the target of a sharp tongue, fueled by hate.

Doubt and uncertainly casts a shadow on the upcoming holidays. Should you or shouldn’t you travel, invite, or gather together like you do every other year? What is the best for those you love? We all individually have to ascertain the answers to these questions.

Things are different; maybe we need to roll with it the best way we can and make some unique memories. If you can’t be with the ones you love on Thanksgiving, write them a note and tell them just how thankful you are to have them in your life. Maybe take advantage of social media and modern technology and let it be a part of your holidays. Turn your imagination loose and let it gallop around the pasture that is fenced in by Covid-19 restrictions. Although the grass may be greener on the other side, it is definitely safer inside the pasture.

There is a group that has gathered together to recreate the Medicine Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce and they are amazing. All of them are extremely busy in their personal life with jobs and families. They still meet and plan activities and events to enrich the lives of those who live in this community. They have a couple of things on their calendar for this month. There will be a Community Work Day on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM. Everyone is meeting behind the old middle school building and working on setting up the light displays.

They are also sponsoring a Christmas Open House on Sunday, November 22, 2020 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Your support and participation in these community activities will nourish your sense of community spirit while helping and encouraging the sponsors and vendors. Lincoln Library will be doing a Story Time that day from 3:00 to 3:30 PM.

Activate your common sense and take the suggested precautions! If you are sick, stay at home! If you know of someone sick, make a porch drop of food and other necessities, books, magazines, or other luxuries. Call those who are sick and offer to run errands or assist them in other ways. Check on people who are alone a lot. Mental health is as important during this stressful time as physical health.

If we all do what we can to make our corner of the world better and take care of those around us, we can make it through this! Yes, things are different, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t squeeze a whole lot of positive out of the negative and make life better for others and ourselves! One thing I think we can all agree on is that we can be extremely thankful that there are only a few weeks left in 2020.

Word of the Week: The word of the week is “excogitate”! The word is a verb and is pronounced /eksˈkäjəˌtāt/. The word means to plan, to think out, to devise. Some problems are harder to solve and thus takes longer to excogitate a solution.

Searching for the Facts

question markWhile hop-skipping through Facebook, I stopped to read a post by Brian Withrow. I always like talking with him and enjoy his relaxed manner of speech. He does a couple of sessions for the summer reading program and I’m always amazed how he can keep a room full of children buzzing around busy as bees while teaching them about the honey-producing insects. The thing that is really crazy is all the places he has gone and all the things he has done. He just isn’t the type of guy that toots his own horn, but I have run onto numerous Brian Withrow facts while doing research on other things! Now he lives here in our county and serves the northern part of the county in the position of president of the USD 254 school board. One of the points Brian made in his post was that we all have the tendency to gravitate towards the information the media is reporting that best reflects our beliefs, which unfortunately may exclude some important truths.

No one can deny that it only takes a very short stroll on Facebook, or other forms of media, to find that the unbelievable is being believed. Dishonesty, deceit, duplicity, and deception are intertwined with bits and pieces of truth and slanted in the direction in which the author leans. For example, if a sentence states, “Mary did not go, until after lunch,” leaving “until after lunch” out totally changes the statement. Much of the media leaves out little phrases here and there, and those phrases can make a big difference.

With the November election quickly approaching, not only does every citizen need to vote, every citizen needs to vote responsibly. We need to do our research and search amongst the fallacies for the facts.

It is all so overwhelming that it is hard to figure out where to start. Following are some websites that rely on the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). The IFCN sets a code of principles that must be followed in order to remain a part of the network. The first is Politifact! This website rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. Another one is They are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. A third is Check Your Fact. They primarily focus on hoaxes and political statements. Additional resources to check out are OpenSecrets, the Sunlight Foundation, Poynter Institute, and Ballotpedia. A good fact checking service will write with neutral wording and will provide unbiased sources to support their claims.

We have computers in the library for adults needing access to a computer. We are happy to help in any way we can to assist community members looking for correct political facts in preparation for the upcoming election!