On an old television program there was a Sergeant Friday who was known to say, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” Yet, facts are odd things, aren’t they?
Some people say that you can’t argue with facts as these are the plain simple truth. Yet, some people say that facts are like statistics, they are easy to manipulate.
Of course, there’s COL Jessup from the movie “A Few Good Men” with his quote “You want the truth, you can’t handle the truth!”
Undeniably we must admit that facts are all around us screaming to be examined and heeded. Unfortunately, our acceptance of the facts and acting on the facts is as old as the human struggle itself. The pages of history are filled with many a parent who tried to get their teenager to listen to reason only to be ignored. Alas, the heartache that follows lingers long after that momentary thrill and that’s a fact of life.
Sometimes, facts are just too obvious to ignore and they shock us when they are presented. My youngest daughter was four years old when my mother died. This little angel of mine was standing next to me in the funeral home when an elderly woman came over and said sympathetically, “I am so sorry about your grandmother.” My little daughter looked up at this lady and with child-like acceptance of the indisputable truth said flatly, “She’s dead, you know.” This factual statement shocked the lady but it was a fact, you know.
Facts can make us uncomfortable. Do you really want the facts about your favorite dessert? Do you really want the facts about global warming, racial issues, your politician, preacher, religion or your kid? Then there are the personal facts: How old you are, how much you weigh, how fast you were going, how much you had to drink, who you were with or what you were thinking. Many a man has been wounded in needless battle because he failed to remember COL Jessup’s quote above when answering a beloved in regard to weight or dress. Again, all too late a simple fact was ignored.
Honestly, we must let the record show that there have been times the actual details were manipulated to present a point of view that was misrepresented. This partial presentation of information is as old as the human race. Need I remind you of the Garden of Eden and a fruit tree? I’m just stating a biblical fact.
Here are some facts: Chillicothe Transit System holds the honor of being the largest rural transit system in Ohio (ODOT “Status of Public Transit in Ohio, July 2009). Chillicothe population grew approximately 2% from 2000–2008 (citi-data.com & bestplaces.net). Chillicothe is 625 feet above sea level (citi-data.com). Ross county received $124,000,000 in tourism for 2007 (tourismeconomics.com).
Now there are other facts that must be addressed and they will be in time. That too is a fact.
Facts abound and based on what you want to do with the facts you can build a place up or tear it down. I chose to build. Fact is, in my hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio I see potential for lasting improvement and future development. Fact is, people are people where ever you go but if the truth be told, we have a tendency to see in people what we want to see and that’s a fact.
(c) 02MARCH2010 hrg