To the Editor,

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend a Mercy Me concert at the FargoDome. Through the experience of singing Christian songs, hearing a great speaker and being in an auditorium filled with people, I have found the courage to write this letter to the editor. I know there are people who will not agree with me, but I am ok with that—courage comes in speaking up for what you believe in, even though it may not always be popular.

I have spent the better part of my life in Henning—31 years to be exact and have grown to love this small community I call home.  This is the town I have chosen to live in, raise my five kids, build amazing friendships and have grown to love.  I have always been truly proud to say I live in Henning. It is a town that has always been known for their support of others, especially in trying times (which our community has had its share of); a town that has always had one another’s back. I’ve always felt part of a united community; until recently,  I still firmly believe in the goodness of our town and its citizens, but we have allowed divisiveness to creep in.  We seem to have chosen “sides” even to the point of neighbor against neighbor; friend against friend. I was reminded at the concert the other night that “United we stand; divided we will fall.” I feel like we have allowed ourselves to become a community divided in far too many instances; we seem to fail to recognize one another’s perspectives or realize that, whether we like it or not, every story has two sides.  We don’t even seem to want to listen to one another’s perspectives anymore unless they fall in line with our own.  Life isn’t black and white; it doesn’t have to be one way or the other; we have to be open to finding some middle ground. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. 

As Mercy Me’s lead singer talked about,  as he spoke of the effects of the pandemic (which I feel apply directly to our current situation as well); face to face conversations take courage; social media does not.  It’s easy to type words when you don’t have to see the effect it has on others; when you get the comments you need to fuel your fire.  True courage, however, lies in face to face conversations aimed at solving problems. If you aren’t part of the solution; then, unfortunately, you are part of the problem. True courage also includes standing up for the changes you want to see.  It’s easy to complain about things; but if you have the time and energy to complain about things, you also have the time and energy to change something.  

The community members who serve on the city council and the school board (and other organizations) had the courage to stand up for their city and their school.  And, it does take courage.   As a school board member myself, I have been on the board for three terms, 12 years. I will tell you that as much as I love our school and try my best to listen to community members on what they want for our school and our students, I have learned that you can’t please everyone, so you take the information you have and you make the best human decision you can for your school and community. I can also tell you it is often a thankless job.

November is election time. If someone isn’t happy with the way things are run or the job a particular member/s of the school board or city council are doing, then now is your time to step up. If you want change, then elections are the time for that. Have the courage to step up and run for an open position. 

After three terms on the school board, I will not be running again this year—I  am hoping people who are passionate about our great little school will step up and run.  It is election year; put your energies into stepping up and running for an office that you feel passionate about; now is your chance. Please don’t use the excuse that you are too busy; all of us are. You prioritize what you are passionate about.  

In conclusion, my hope is for Henning to be around for many years to come. It is a great community. We need to rise above the divisiveness and stand together.  There are no “sides.” We are ONE Henning and united we stand; please don’t let the current divisiveness cause us to fall. It’s time to stop looking in the “rearview mirror” at things we can’t change and start looking through our “big, front windshield” to the future of Henning, the place we call home. By working together, I know there are brighter days ahead.


Deb Hart,