A reprise, a rebuke and a reflection

Mark DeLap
Posted 6/14/23

Platte County's weekly editorial

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A reprise, a rebuke and a reflection


In the light of a recent coaching story that had a Wyoming basketball coach fired because he just didn’t add up to the standards of those who were tearing him down rather than cheering him on… I must reprise a recent editorial. I know that every story has two sides. At least I hope they do.

Excuse doesn’t justify what is in our heart – but it explains what is in our heart. From the abundance of the heart, the mouth will open and speak.  

Is it really in our hearts to judge, criticize and speak against one another – or are we having a bad day? After the damage comes the justification.  “I only said that because I was frustrated” or “I only lashed out because I am having a bad day.”   No.  You revealed what is abundant in your heart and excuses try to justify the content.

“I’m sorry” is a lobbyist for removal.  “I’m justified” is championing a cause for the retention of being a bully… and making your own comfort levels livable.

Teachers can be so smart.  Many times, they won’t come to us and tell us that we have anger in our hearts or jealousy or malice or hatred.  If they did, we be all learn how to be smart enough to cover our tracks.

Instead…  We are brought to a boil and we can see for ourselves exactly what is there.  It’s right there – in the change.  There is something about changes that stress us.  But it’s there in the change where we can really see what is being manufactured in the depths of our own heart.

We can fool a lot of people when we are in the public eye.  We can portray the picture of perfection on sunny mornings.  What we can’t do is hide what is inside in the midst of a critical change.  We can only pray that somehow time will cause us to see it and will give us enough time and courage to change it.

Those of us who continue to hold on to the things that are killing us from the inside out, no doubt have been warned many times – and have gone through many critical changes without changing our abundance.   And usually when we hear the word “abundance” it is with a positive stroke.  Be careful of the evil in abundance that we harbor in our everyday lives.

I have recently done some “exit interviews” if you will. Reasons why good people left the rest of us behind in Platte County. There are so many good people here, but there are also assassins amongst us. The ones who ride down main street with the squeaky wheels.

The ones who feel that it is their job to criticize – and not with tact or wisdom. The ones who never grew out of being bullies. Complete with the armor of nasty, cowardly anonymous letters, whispers behind closed doors and always trying to make sure their room temperature is at 72 degrees. Because that is the only perfection they will accept. It’s all about them. It’s all about what makes them happy. What makes them feel superior. What makes them feel in control.

In a commissioner meeting this past week I heard another case of a district official wanting to quit because no matter how much they did, it was never enough. Someone would always come forth with a comment to discourage and attack, because quite frankly, the one being bullied couldn’t get that personal space temperature down to the “perfect room temperature” for the one with the overbearing mouth.

And you never see the critics coming out of the woodwork to comment on the many wonderful things that are being done. No praise or encouragement from the lips of the perfect. We have lost a lot of good people in Platte County because, unfortunately, the squeaky wheels continue to always demand the grease. They take pleasure in striking fear in the hearts of those around them.

Oh, and make no mistake about it. People are forced to leave. Good people who just couldn’t get that temperature quite right in the timing demanded of them. We’ve lost some to illnesses, and unfortunately, we’ve lost some to the cancer of someone else’s soul.

And if, some of the professionals do get it right, it sets the teeth of the bullies on edge – someone they have spoken out against actually were embraced and praised. And it makes the critical mouth less believable. And that won’t do. The battle lines are drawn and with a critical eye, they watch and wait for a mistake to be made.

Character is revealed not only by criticism, but criticism with a streak of meanness that demeans and degrades and cuts at the very fabric of our community. We have lost physicians, administrators, officials, board members, teachers, coaches, professionals, shop owners, students and many more.

We will as a community be shocked when more vacancies are even at this hour – in the works. And in the quiet of the night, down Main Street you hear the squeaky wheel loud and proud looking for something else to criticize and something else to attack. We indeed have predators among us.

Teachers build and raise leaders. Bullies destroy and want to be the only leaders.