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Voice: In defense of commonality, Kofford

June 12, 2001

In the June 3 issue of Imperial Valley Press, Dennis Bergh added the most recent swipe that readers have taken at Bret Kofford's series. The main thrust this time is against Bret's level of subjects, which are small as far as events go. But Dennis misses his own challenge.

There is significance and relevance in Bret's supposed faults. Commonality is an important factor in the lives of all people. This makes up most of our daily needs in work, communication, thoughts and avenues of satisfaction.

The author of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" also misses the elements that make sense of our daily lives. The lives of few people go beyond these parameters. The I.V. Press news gets at the big stuff, which we can see is globally or locally relevant, and we personally might relate to those stories but not feel directly affected by them.

If we were to write a history of the world in a single paragraph (which we all should be able to do) we would leave out the major events and concentrate on those human conditions that impelled, compelled or repelled such events.


This gets at the importance of commonplace matters, which we note is the subject of classical art themes from Giotto and Breugle to Monet and Picasso. Poets have also concentrated on common subjects as Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology"; Biblical stories; such great tales as "Oliver Twist." These are but samples of the importance of "small stuff" in the shaping of everyday lives. And Bret reminds us of their importance as a part of the humanist tradition.

No, Dennis, it's not fame he seeks. And he confirms what a colonial justice of the peace, London Carter, wrote in his diary in 1752, "If there is anything to truth it should shine in a penny as well as a million."

There are truths in Bret's pennies.



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