As a community member and Fort Lewis College graduate, I am only one of thousands in our FLC family whose heart is still breaking and whose prayers are still going forth for a beloved family of our own, Chris and Shelly Aaland. Their losses have been extreme, and no one can fully appreciate their pain or what they are going through.
Still, the wounds are being salted and deepened by well-meaning friends who have turned their love for the Aalands into an attack on the college. This saddens me deeply. As one writer, an employment attorney who said she represents employers said, “There are always two sides to a story.” (Letters, Herald, April 21) She went on – without knowing the other side – to recommend a lawsuit against the college.
This is what we do when someone we love is hurting. We try to find blame and attack the other “side.” Anyone who has been affected by a divorce can attest to the harm that is done when the finger pointing begins. In this case the other side, FLC is also a beloved part of our community that has contributed dimensions to our culture and life here in countless ways. Small towns without a college form a different kind of awareness, and we are fortunate to share in a community that is enhanced, challenged and served in so many ways by our little campus in the sky.
I speak for those who love the Aalands and love the college. I ask the Aaland’s loyal friends not to meddle in this conflict by viciously, sarcastically and mercilessly attacking the college and the leaders who undoubtedly had to make an agonizing decision for reasons we do not know. It’s hard to do in small community, but let’s mind our own business and pray for everyone involved, lest we become part of the problem and a divisive agent of more pain.