Good morning Neosho! I hope you’re having a fabulous Friday! It has been a fast and furious week for us. It’s hard to believe that school is already back in session.

Good morning Neosho! I hope you’re having a fabulous Friday! It has been a fast and furious week for us. It’s hard to believe that school is already back in session.
Where did the summer break go? Oh, yeah…there was also that eclipse thing too this week. It was a pretty big deal unless you were the one last minute trying to find the special glasses to have a look. Thankfully my mother-in-law hooked me up with some of those nifty glasses. Initially, I thought it was a setup, but it turned out all right…I think.  Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed the eclipse and made some memories with your friends and family!
Considering the recent volatile happenings in the news, they have reminded me of a story. There was a time in my early adult life where I worked as a car salesman. Let’s just say that it wasn’t for me. Although, I did learn a lot of life lessons in my short stint in sales. As I was walking the car lot one day at work, I noticed a homely looking woman walking off the street onto the lot. She looked like the stereotypical bag lady. Her hair was un-kept and her clothes were dirty. She was carrying some plastic bags that looked like a few groceries. None of the other salesmen would take the time to even talk to her. They assumed that she was not worth their time because she did not look like she could buy a decent change of clothes let alone a car.
I approached her anyway despite the nagging thought that I was wasting my time. She turned out to be one of the kindest individuals I have ever held a conversation with. As I began to inquire of her needs she began to tell me that her car had broken down on the way home from the grocery store. I told her that she had come to the right place. Even with the thought in the back of my mind that there is no way she can afford a car, I decided I would treat her as if she arrived in a Cadillac. We found a vehicle she liked and could afford, and it turns out that her credit was perfect! She could have bought any car on the lot! Much to the chagrin of my fellow salesmen, she bought a car that day and I made a friend. I also learned a very valuable lesson. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
 In this volatile social environment, we are in right now, we should all take this to heart. There are wonderful people all around us that we can learn from. We may have differences, we may disagree on certain things, we may even have a very contrasting view of life or culture. But please, make the effort to positively interact anyway. Listen, learn, and focus on what we have in common because I think you’ll find we have more in common than what you might think. Try to offset the world’s hate with a lifestyle of genuine care and concern for others. If you’ll do that, I can promise it will make our community a better place. Until next time, stay awesome Neosho!

Ben Baker is the mayor of Neosho and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.