Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Associations Can Help, Or Hang Us

A number of years ago I was told that we are the sum total of the people we know, and the books we have read. I would also add, that the actions we perform speak even louder. It has long been said that we are judged by the company we keep. Businesses know this. Individuals also know this.

Barak Obama learned this lesson rather late in the game. Criticism of his relation to Reverend Wright caused him to rise up and defend not only himself, his church, but the Reverend. That was until it became quite clear that the Reverend is totally Looney Tunes. It was then that he spoke out against the words of his pastor, and made it clear that the reverends thoughts and ideas were not of is own.

It was a brave thing to do, but it was long overdue. Obama risked offending his fellow members of the church, and his old friend as well, but it had to be done. He could not move forward unless he set the record straight, and do it in such a way as to distance himself from those ideas of his pastor, but not to distance himself from his church. A tight wire act that he performed well.

All throughout our lives we experience situations like this. When we were much younger our mothers may have told us, "I don't want you playing with that Flevis boy. He's always in trouble, and I don't want you there with him".

We may have listened, maybe not, but she was most often right on the money. As we got older, and our circle of acquaintances and experiences grew, we began to heed those words on our own. We had to, we knew that we would not be at Westwood High School, or St. Peter Marian High for ever, but what we did there would certainly affect where we went from there. Our grades, our activities would all help us onto our next step. And, if by chance we were able to advance regardless of our poor actions, we were fortunate.

The same holds true for us as adults. We are judged by the company we keep, and by those that speak for us. We could have a stellar record, or maybe one that was seen by some as needing some improvement, either way, a spokesperson that lacks credibility, and is fighting on our behalf, will certainly hurt our reputations more than anything else.

Then, there is another scenario. Maybe the person speaking on our behalf is not doing so for the obvious reason, to help us. Maybe, they are using it as the back road to attack others. Others that they obviously have had it in for for a long time, and this gives them an avenue. A warped avenue at best, and suddenly, we are in the middle.

It is the adult version of the game we played as kids when we latched onto someone just to piss off someone else.

The good thing is most of us can see through it. As adults we have grown, but childhood games are still familiar, and when they are played, we can spot them like rice on coal. The ones that believe they can pull one over on us lose more credibility, and thus hurt those they have chosen to support even more by their behavior.

At first, a few words of support are appreciated, but after a time, when the words drone on and on, day after day and take on less of a supportive role, and more of an attack role, we need to pull an Obama.

Otherwise, we will be judged by the company we keep, and once that has begun there is little we can do to change it.

Comments are now closed on this post.


  1. We will be judged by the company we keep? We already are and do. Just look at that reasfoundation their executive director is such a cruel human being I don’t even know if I can use that word for him. He lies are so blatant and his written words are so nonsensical and down right hateful. Any one associated with that reasfoundation will be for ever connected with him and his hateful speech. His actions are bad too if you have a different point of view from him he does everything in his power to destroy your good name and reputation. In my mind any one on the reasfoundation board of directors or executive board is an arm of the executive director and has lost all respect and credibility. Time for reasfoundation to get a new executive director but it might be to late the damage may have already been done.

  2. Another great post. It makes me wonder why everyone doesn't realize how destorying those childish personalities can be to others? One poster mentioned before on this blog about some people living in an ivory tower. Nope - just a simple home. But once your home has been bombarded with hate and lies - it is not easy to forget those who cast the stones. I could forgive only if they stop. I am so glad that poster has the comfort and safety in their home - for that I am jealous.

  3. You are correct there are many here in Sturbridge that need to “pull an Obama” I hope they find the strength to do so. It will be hard for them because they will become the target of attacks by the bully. But who knows if they do it together they may weather the storm. After all there is strength in numbers.

  4. I have a dream...did anyone read the article in the most recent Sturbridge Times Magazine by Larry Morrison?

    In part it said: "Alas, there is an alternative. It is the burdensome, bothersome sideways
    “progress” of silly skirmishes and snide sniping that knocks the pins right out from under the efforts arising from good intentions, where the definition of good is, unhappily, up for grabs. Current conditions, unfortunately, don’t exclude the elements of that
    alternative, it seems. Much of leadership involves the quickening of hearts and the electrifying
    of minds in service to the common
    good. Ideas that declare achievable goals can stake out a rallying point which, in future sunny times, can be recognized
    as the Sturbridge area’s exciting,
    modern starting point."

    Well said, Larry Morrison. Now, why not start by rallying folks together to stop the attacks, ridiculing and bullying? Think about how much more power in numbers there could be. How much more creativity, energy and happiness would emanate from Sturbridge? How much more quickly Sturbridge would rebound?

    Like I said, I have a dream. It will take every single one of us heading in the same direction to stop the snide sniping and silly skirmishes. We should ALL take a time out and consider what's at stake.

  5. seems to be a good deal of nonsense going on here. the elderly are finally getting real help. that is the most important thing. seems like nothing more than petty jealously.

  6. Dear anonymous,

    No, you are wrong. The opinions here are not from petty jealousy. No one has said that the elderly does not deserve the help either. What is being said is a person that is synonymous to hate, ill will, and revenge is the one that is the director of REAS. that fact will limit the number of donations. People are not pleased with this person behavior. Loose the leader and see if donations don't increase. REAS also has to list its goals, qualifications for the elderly, amounts to be donated, number of those that they can help, and a lot more information before more people feel comfortable in giving. Jealousy has nothing to do with this.

  7. I found this interesting. The blogmaster misspelled "lose" in this article: "The ones that believe they can pull one over on us loose more credibility". The comment from "hope I never have..." also misspelled "lose": "Loose the leader and see if donations don't increase. " Since "lose" isn't that difficult to spell and most people know how to spell it, it looks to me like the blogmaster is leaving comments under aliases on his own articles to make it seem like #1. a lot of people read his blog and #2 people actually agree with what he has to say. Personally, I think it is pathetic. Why don't you spend more time helping the elderly or another cause in town and less time leaving comments on your own article....

  8. Hey, I can think of 3 people right off the top of my head who misspell that word all the time. They're college-grads too.

    I thought Laughable always signed his name to everything he wrote??

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  9. If Larry Morrison really said all that then why doesn’t he practice what he preaches and rally everyone at reasfoundation to tell the executive director to stop his bullying, lying, hateful attitude and negative swipes at Sturbridge or remove himself from the reasfoundation and planning board for that matter. The foundation needs credibility and with the executive director they have now they have none. Step up to the plate Larry and be a leader.

  10. What imagination people have over leaving out a simple "o"! How about being kind to ALL people TRLaughable? Isn't that a worthy cause? I'm sure you won't loose sleep over that one!