Having a heart and standing tall

By Reade Brower | Sep 05, 2019

Walking into work on Saturday was brightened by graffiti on the parking lot dumpster.

In white chalk, taking up most of the front on the container, was a heart emoji promoting love and peace. The author and creator of this giant heart, and lots of others around town, is a mystery, at least to me.

On sidewalks, the hearts represent hope that amongst us is a “love bandit” or multiple “love bandits” whose job is to remind us good deeds make us smile and sometimes it’s just the tiniest of things that bring peace to those who are able to see light instead of darkness in a world where you’re more likely to have horns beeping than humans waved ahead during rush hour (August in Maine).

It would be delightful to write about the “love bandit” in more detail; a newspaper person never reveals sources, so keeping the “love bandit” identity under wraps would be assured, if anonymity is of concern.

“Love Bandit”: Step forward and share more about your mission and how that might inspire others to follow your lead.

To help with this caper and reconnaissance mission, email me at: reade@freepressonline.com.


Writing about politics is one long road, usually ending in dead ends.

The hypocrisy, on both sides of the political aisles, is palatable. As Jim Comey was exonerated from breaking any laws and not leaking anything considered classified, he still got a hand slap for protocol and not following some FBI standards. While Comey and his supporters tweeted the charges were proven baseless, Trump, his fellow Republicans, and Fox commentators, railed on Comey saying this was proof of his rotten character. In the other corner, CNN and MSNBC were behind Comey, downplaying the protocol piece.

Months ago, the Mueller report came out with basically the same split conclusions on Trump’s interference with Russia (obstruction), while clearing him of collusion. Trump tweeted and did his victory dance, the Fox commentators joined him with cumbia, while CNN and MSNBC panned the decision and Democrats still pushed impeachment.

We all know this is ridiculous, right? Has anyone stood up and been consistent when it comes to elected officials or is something being missed? Here are similar incidents, with different players, and the difference of opinion is determined by partisanship because politics trumps common sense and reasonable people wear blinders.

Now is the time for someone to stand tall! Who will take the bully pulpit and say, "Enough!"? The only way tyrannies end is for a Margaret Chase Smith moment; had that not occurred, Joseph McCarthy’s reign of terror would have continued. Until it happens here, sick kids will continue to be sent back to their country to die — when all we heard about immigration was the need to stop the criminals, drug mules, and gangs from invading our country. These dying kids are none of those.

Character shines in moments when we do what’s right and forget about everything else. On the other side of the coin, sometimes it’s not the things we do, but the things we don’t do that create the most harm.

We need someone in Congress and in the Senate to stand up and take charge. Someone needs to put people and common sense above politics. Standing up and taking stock of who we are and what we need is how nonsense ends.

Inspiration happens when leadership is shown. One of my sons was playing for a team and the coach asked him to pick up a work shift for one of the team's star players. This meant forfeiting his chance to play in the game so another boy could be there instead. What adolescent boy can say no to a coach — a coach holding his playing time in his back pocket?

That is not a spot where many young lads or ladies can stand tall, the ask becomes a tell, and working the shift became reality. On that team, another boy, also a star player and having cred with the coach, seeing it wasn’t right, stood up for my son. He went to the coach and opined. While the original boy said nothing, the other player stood up for what was right.

It was a moment of truth for all involved: the player, the coach, my son, and the teammate. It is inspiring to think about because it gives hope there are people who stand up for others and say "Enough!" — even if it’s hard or jeopardizes their own playing time.

Experience shows we don’t always do that. Fear of retribution, consequences, concern about being wrong or ridiculed by some wanting to win at all costs, or just uncertainty that comes from being human can stop us in our tracks.

When fear of being wrong prevents us from being right, we lose.

Better to have tried and failed, then never to have tried.




“Kind words, kind looks, kind acts, and warm handshakes — these are means of grace when men in trouble are fighting their unseen battles.” — John Hall, pastor (1829-1898)

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Comments (5)
Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 08, 2019 08:39

Oh Eric, you silly boy. Keep trying it's kind of entertaining.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 06, 2019 07:42

"You spent 20 years in the Isolation Cell"

Showing your ignorance again or you're trying to be funny and you do know what IC means. Sadly you fail.

I'd explain it to you but would never understand.


Posted by: Janet A Page | Sep 05, 2019 21:33

To the editor,
As a long time fan and admirer of Reade Brower the man, and his entrepreneurial spirit and success, I have to disagree with his recent lighthearted praise [in his September 5th Common Sense column] of the person[s] responsible for marking up various properties around town with heart-shaped peace signs.
Reade accurately describes these marks as graffiti, [defined as words or pictures scribbled, scratched or sprayed illicitly in a public place].
One visit from the so-called "love bandit" to the side of a dumpster in a rear parking lot is amusing. 2 or 3 are interesting, but when they continue to appear with greater frequency on public sidewalks, the sides of commercial buildings and other private property, it is vandalism.
I have always known Reade as someone who thoughtfully considers all sides of an issue, and I hope he will withdraw his enthusiastic encouragement of these actions.
Best personal regards,
Gordon Page

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 05, 2019 10:59

"Dopey Brennan and Clueless Clapper"

Having just spent 20 years in the IC I'll just chalk this up to ignorance.

Or just parroting Trump.

Oh, wait, the same thing.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 05, 2019 05:19


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