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Letter: Heart breaks for abused infant, community’s lack of reaction

The last few nights, I’ve cried for a baby that I’ll never meet. The ugliness of the crime that man did to that poor 5-month-old baby haunts me day and night. I’m disgusted and shocked that this happened in my very own hometown, Dickinson. I guess the cold wasn’t cold enough to keep out the riff raff this time, eh? Why has our community not erupted in outrage and revenge? Do we accept this as a side effect of the oil boom? What can we do?

There are a lot of new people comingling with the locals around here. I know one thing: the vast majority of all of us are good. There were also random, shocking crimes here before the boom. Maybe we don’t want to remember and perhaps there were fewer of them per capita. But then, we have more of everything here these days.

Becoming active in this community has become more important now than ever. The fate of the man who molested the innocent baby is up to the courts now. But we owe it to her to pay attention. We can pray for her and love her together as a diverse community. We can watch for other parents and children who need help.

When I lived in Alaska, I used nature smarts. Living in New York City taught me street smarts. Neither of those kinds of smarts is going to help me much here. Here, we need a new special brand of smarts. We need some “rural route smarts” around here, a kind that honors the pioneers who settled here. The work-hard-and-get-it-done, but don’t-forget-about-your-neighbor smarts.

We can’t automatically trust that everyone is good. And we can’t mistrust every person with an out of state license plate. We would be missing out on lots of good and honest watchdogs. We can’t hide in our homes afraid of the bad guys. We can’t let them ruin it for us. We have to get out there and enjoy our community and our rural routes and take care of each other. We’ve got to help each other stay out of bad situations and try to focus on the natural good in the vast majority of the people who occupy this community.

And we can never ever forget about the tiny, innocent, baby girl who still needs our help looking out for her.

Lisa Pavlicek,