Monday May 6, 2013

The following is an open letter to the Citizens of Bennington

As a former resident of Bennington, I like to keep up with the "happenings" of Bennington by checking out the online Banner from time to time.

Recently, I was shocked to learn of the charges against Tom Lyons. The thought that any of it could be true sadden me. I don’t know Mr. Lyons personally, although, some time ago I had purchased a Subaru from his dealership. And I was very happy with the deal and the car. And I knew of some of his community service. So after he pleaded guilty, I have been thinking about the situation. I haven’t spoken with any of my Bennington friends about this but, knowing what I know of human nature, I can just imagine the scuttlebutt on the street.

It occurs to me that this is another example of each of us being human.

Each of us has a dark side that we wished wasn’t there. Confronting and wrestling with our dark side is something that many of us never do. Denying that it is there is like trying to push a beach ball under water. It can only be sustained for a while. Eventually, without warning, that beach ball is going to burst out of the water and go in whatever direction. I’ve experienced this in my own life and I’ve witnessed it in others.

There is an old saying, "Don’t judge, because you don’t know the whole story. And if you knew the whole story, you wouldn’t judge." I try to live by that, as difficult as it is. It calls for compassion.

It is times like these which have the most potential for growth.

It is times like these which have the most potential for transformation and healing. May it be so for Mr. Lyons, his family and friends. May it be so for all affected by this. And may it be so for the citizens of Bennington.

JANICE CAMPBELL

Raleigh, NC