Petty actions, felonious results
Most of those in the know haven’t let those of us likely to suffer the consequences to know everything they do.
So it’s impossible for us to tell who’s right and who’s wrong in a dispute between St. Luke Hospital and Lanning Pharmacy.
What we can say with absolute certainty is that Marion and Marion County aren’t big enough to survive such disputes unscathed.
Talk of government-funded entities going into competition with private enterprise might be acceptable in a big city, where there’s a surplus of public and private sources for obtaining the same goods and services.
Here, however, it amounts to a community cutting off its nose to spite its face. Accompanying talk of various groups uging boycotts of local businesses or government entities is as silly as the stereotypical cliques of seventh graders and just as hurtful in the economic world as their pettiness can be in the social world of junior high.
One of the blessings and curses of small towns is that all of us must learn to at least peacefully coexist with people of all classes, backgrounds, and opinions. Targeting a business or an individual may work in the shark tank of business elsewhere, but in the goldfish bowl of a rural community, it’s a path that leads to total annihilation.
Still, it seems to be an accepted practice among some in the community, and we can attest to this from first-hand experience of being boycotted by certain elements in the town. In the end, such juvenile acts typically accomplish little other than reveal the pettiness of those seeking the boycotts.
Whatever the dispute is, the answer isn’t for the hospital to set up a rival pharmacy. It’s for both sides to put aside stubbornness and, for the good of the community, arrive at a compromise that they — and the rest of us in town — can live with.
Otherwise, we may find ourselves living with nothing at all.
— ERIC MEYER