Working to fulfill our purpose

By Jonathan Key | Mar 21, 2013

Everybody has one. If you’ve ever wondered what yours is, just think about how you contribute to society. You’ll know deep down if what you are doing is what God has intended for you to do. For me, it is clear.

My family has been in the newspaper business for generations and, although early on I was not always sure what I wanted to be, now that I am, I am positive this is God’s calling for me.

We were having a conversation the other day in the office about how we are doing as your community newspaper. We believe it is our mission to be a blessing to this community through our work, and to be sure we are fulfilling that mission, we periodically need to review our progress.

Throughout the discussion it was clear to me that we are definitely on the right path. God is working in our lives here, and blessings are rippling through the community.

At The Mountaineer, we get excited when we see events occurring as a result of articles we run in the paper. A couple of recent examples come to mind that show how the collaboration between timely information and Haywood County people who believe they, too, can make a difference, converge into actions that get things done.

One illustration came after we ran an article about the problems arising because people were snorting bath salts and smoking synthetic marijuana; both were being legally sold in several convenience stores throughout Haywood County.

The story generated several responses from our readers, and the police department made it their mission to convince the store owners to stop selling the products. Most store owners did so but when one owner decided that he was going to continue to offer the synthetic marijuana, a group of high school students planned to picket that store in protest. Thankfully, the owner voluntarily took the products off the shelves as well. That, my friends, is a blessing and it is so humbling to see God’s work being fulfilled by the good people of this county.

A second example happened when the issue of bullying was brought to light through The Mountaineer’s investigation. We saw an immediate reaction by our readers to this story.

The brave woman who came forward and let us use her picture and tell her story is a role model we hope other students look up to as the person who made it clear that bullying is a problem that should not to be tolerated in Haywood County schools.

Once again, we were carrying out our mission and the school system responded to the article by providing us with their policies and procedures. (You can find them on our website at Everyone is becoming actively involved to find a solution.

At Hazelwood Elementary, the faculty was already hard at work planning ways to stamp out bullying in their school. I’m sure there are other schools that are working just as hard, but Hazelwood recently sent a flyer home informing parents of their intent to wipe out bullying and how the parents can help.

Now, we don’t take all the credit for their efforts, but we are willing to say that through our mission from God, we were able to bring another important issue to light.

And finally, in an all-together different way of reaching people, we have yet another example of our influence and the great people of this county rising up to help.

You may all remember the story of the man who was missing in Haywood County for several days. As part of our coverage, we used The Mountaineer’s Facebook page; another form of reporting we use constantly here to communicate with people in our area.

As a result, the police quickly began getting tips about the lost man and it ultimately led to him being found unharmed. In our follow-up story, the police gave credit to The Mountaineer’s Facebook posts as being instrumental to finding the man. Divine intervention takes on many forms.

My whole point here is not to toot our own horn, but to point out that working together is what makes a difference in our communities.

Everyone here at The Mountaineer is committed to staying on the path God has chosen for us; being good stewards of the newspaper He has entrusted us to run for this community.

And, we are hopeful that as we continue to work to bring blessings to your life, you’ll stay true to the path God has chosen for you. A strong and united community can do amazing things.

So, thank you to our readers for helping us bless this community by taking the issues we investigate and publish seriously and realizing that the person responsible for making things better is you.