Gerard: People should remember to forgive, forget and move on

Jordan Gerard

When the temperature’s too cold and the wind bites back too hard, I stay inside and quilt. Yep, I’m 25 years old and I have a terrible quilting habit I love.

It started with finding a beautiful panel of a buck and a doe in the woods and beautiful backing fabric at a garage sale in Decorah a few years ago. I asked my aunt to make it, but she cited multiple quilting projects and Barbie doll clothes was the focus of her sewing machine lately, so I decided to take it upon myself to make it.

Thanks to the occasionally frustrating technology of the worldwide web and the pretty fabrics at Red Roxy Quilt Shop in Decorah, I bought myself coordinating fabrics and taught myself how to quilt. I am not to be trusted in a fabric shop with a credit card.

It’s not the most perfect quilt in the world but it’s pretty on my wall right now. There are a few mistakes if you look closely and I can’t add measurements to save my life nor measure fabric properly and I haven’t learned how to blind stitch yet, so some of the pieces are sized wrong and the edges look rough, but I think that’s OK because the imperfections in my quilt remind me that life is not perfect and a perfect life cannot be achieved by any means, and humans are learning all the time.

There are bumps, bruises, twists and days that just throw you for a wringer. Some days when I make a mistake at work or in article, I feel like the worst journalist in the world.

Journalists are supposed to have thick skin, but I’m still working on that part. It's definitely gotten thicker in the two years I've been editor at the Herald. I know how costly mistakes can be in my world and I do my best to double check things in my stories, but sometimes things slip through the cracks.

I know how to do my job, but sometimes it’s not perfect and I have to be OK with that or else I would never get through a day.

I write four to six articles with photos per week for the Herald and collect that number for the Reader, coordinate press releases to run on the community pages and do layout pages for two papers a week.

It’s a lot to do and I’m adjusting to the routine. This week, it finally felt like I had my feet under me again, and maybe it’s too much to do, but I’m doing it for the experience and because someone had to step up to the plate.

Those who are critical won’t accept explanations no matter how hard I try and I’m sure those people have stopped reading after the fourth paragraph.

When I’m torn down by a customer or someone who is not satisfied with a story or I made a mistake in it, it feels really terrible to me and I make the necessary apologies and corrections and yet, all is not forgiven.

This also applies to other professions too, like cashiering and working in a restaurant among others.

This is what drives me crazy. People don’t forgive and forget anymore. They hold grudges, they spread rumors, they can’t remember that people are not perfect – including themselves – and we’re bound to make mistakes.

These newspapers are put together by humans and humans are not robots, especially when we try to insert creative writing into articles to make them more entertaining for the readers.

With today’s technology, we could probably create an algorithm for a computer program that could write articles for us, but where’s the fun in that?

The other aspect of not forgiving and forgetting is people unleashing a truckload of anger upon those they are angry with.

Yelling and screeching isn’t going to get you anywhere, or if you think it is, let it out at home. Calm down and discuss it like the reasonable adult you are. Don’t go out and tear people down to make yourself feel better about it.

Being unforgiving of your fellow human is an unhealthy way to live. And if you can’t bring yourself to do that, I am so sorry you live in a world where grudges control your decisions. Forgive, forget and move on.