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Importance of stories

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Stories.

Stories told over coffee, between bites of dinner, around a campfire with s'mores. Between friends. Family. Strangers waiting in line. They can be spoken or written. Factual or whimsical. They connect us to our past and shape our future. Stories are truly the ties that bind.

I'll go one step further - stories make us human. We can't help but share information. It's in our very nature. Anyone who's told an exciting secret to a child and then watched them squirm, trying desperately to hold it in, can attest to that. But stories aren't just an entertaining way to pass the time - they've shaped our entire evolution. We went from living in caves to walking on the moon just by telling stories. We shared with each other what worked and what didn't. We shared wisdom from our own trials, and what we'd been taught from those before us. Over time, we learned and grew, all thanks to those stories told day by day, person to person.

Stories are at the heart of what a newspaper does. Yes, accurate facts, spelling and grammar are essential. But at our core, we are storytellers. We are charged with the task of learning the things that matter, and spreading the word. Our job is to reflect our society and our community, and through our stories, help to shape a better future.

At the Times, we hope you see yourself and your community reflected in our pages. We aim to inform, entertain and to challenge you. There is nothing more powerful than an informed community. Take the Fort Frances mill-instead of sitting quietly as doors were chained and deals made, people of the town have stayed informed, and have pushed back, exposing serious cracks in the system. Few small town mill closures have attracted as much attention from media and politicians, simply because our citizens have kept themselves and each other informed. Our community's story has resonated as a warning to other resource-based communities, and may help other towns to rewrite their own futures, and affect future policy decisions.

When people share their stories, amazing things can happen. People just sharing their love of gymnastics was enough to spark the re-opening of a local studio. People sharing their struggles with homelessness was enough to inspire the Out of the Cold Warming Shelter. People sharing their concerns over dwindling essential services was enough to get our voices heard in Queen's Park recently.

It's these stories, told day by day, person to person, which shape our community. The staff at the Times has been proud to be a part of this region's story for the past 125 years. But like any relationship, it takes open communication to keep it great. This paper belongs to the community and is a reflection of the people, organizations and communities it serves. We enjoy your letters to the editor. We enjoy you stopping by or calling in to tell us your own story, whether it's a fundraiser, a bazaar, school event or community meeting. If you give us the head's up, we'll do our best to include it in our pages, so everyone can share in your triumphs and struggles.

So please, reach out. Share your stories, and we'll share ours in return, and day by day, story by story, we'll build something great together.

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