Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox is the editor and publisher of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email to brandon.cox@jcsentinel.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonJCox.

Two weeks ago, I was driving back to the office on Highway 72 when I stopped at a red light. I noticed an older gentleman pushing his sedan through traffic toward the median at the County Park Road intersection. I pulled off to the shoulder with intentions of helping him push.

By the time I was able to get to the shoulder and park my truck, I noticed that someone else had stopped and was able to help move the vehicle off out of the road. As it turns out, I knew the Good Samaritan.

I climbed back into my truck and pulled over to them both as they were checking the engine of the stalled car, and asked if I could offer any help. My friend thanked me for stopping, and said he had the situation under control.

As I was heading back to the office a few minutes later he sent me a message, thanking me again for stopping and inviting me to join him for lunch. Unfortunately, I had just eaten and had someone waiting for me here at work.

It may shock some people to learn that my friend and I tend not to agree on everything. Though we share common interests such as hunting and a passion for the outdoors, we often have differing opinions about the role of government and other domestic policy.

That doesn’t cause either one of us to think any less of the other. We’re not disrespectful to each other. We remain friends. He’s a stand-up guy, and I wasn’t surprised at all to see him helping a stranger in need.

Our differing opinions force me to not only defend my position but to also consider the perspectives and beliefs of others, which are built upon a differing set of experiences. The opportunity to do that, I think, is what makes America great.

I’ve lived in a handful of communities, alongside people of all different backgrounds. In each community, some of the best feedback I’ve gotten has been along the lines of, “You know, I read your column every week. I like to read what you have to say, but I don’t always agree with you.”

I believe that we should be able to have a thoughtful, intelligent conversation about issues that we have different viewpoints on.

These pages should be the vehicle of civil conversation and dialogue that affects change and progress in our community. Conversation require multiple parties of input, apart from that we’re only talking to ourselves. That’s why we encourage letters to the editor.

When you have an opinion, regarding something written in the paper or taking place in our community, I encourage you to write in let your voice be heard. If everyone agreed all the time we wouldn’t have much to write about.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to a future lunch conversation with my friend.

Brandon Cox is the editor and publisher of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email to brandon.cox@jcsentinel.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonJCox.

(1) comment

John S Russ

I agree with Mr. Cox' article on handling social conflict between people, especially friends. It is very healthy to participate in lively discussions with others. It promotes differing ideas and can result in better ways to settle a challenging situation.
I'm sure Mr. Benjamin Franklin discussed what to use as a tool to get that electricity down from the sky. Perhaps one of his friends casually suggested placing a key on his kite maybe? Totally dumb idea at the time. Who knows, maybe on a bet, maybe a dare but He tried it. The rest.....well we know where that led. Disagreements open doors of thought. Thank you Mr. Cox for encouraging our input and having lunch with a friend.

John S Russ

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