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I’m not that Mike Olson

EDITOR:

Life can sometimes be complicated. The letters to the editor are supposed to be of general interest and not personal. Please bear with me as I try to thread this needle.

My name is Mike Olson. I live in Ford River. I am the owner of Genesis Graphics. There is another Mike Olson who also lives in Ford River and he often writes letters to the editor.

The content of Mike’s numerous writings get attributed to me often, both by acquaintances as well as near strangers. People have stopped me on the street and called my home to heap praise — or disagree vehemently with me after one of Mike’s letters makes it to print. Put yourself into that position. Though I agree in principle with some of what Mike has had to say (but not always), I prefer to have conversations with others over weighty issues rather than write a letter and walk away. I would much rather be able to offer an argument, an apologia, and listen to the other’s side. I would like to hear their world-view on various topics as well as defend my position with dialog. I don’t get to do that with many who think it is me writing.

In last Wednesday’s paper, Mike wrote a letter which I agree with in substance, but disagree with in tone (see Matthew 6:3) to such a great extent that I need to make sure I am not misidentified as the writer. I’m sure Mike meant well, but I also know it will be taken by others in a different light. I am happy to “own” the things I say, I just don’t want to be mischaracterized by what others say. I wouldn’t be writing publicly to set the record straight if a man’s reputation wasn’t at stake.

This letter isn’t written to discredit anyone, rather it is done to bring an awareness that words matter — and correct attribution identity matters too.

You may think that this is petty in light of what is happening with the COVID-19 pandemic and believe we have much larger things to be concerned about. I agree. In the grand scheme of things…this is nothing. Still, if my name is going to be used in public, let it be known for this thought regarding the pandemic.

There is One who knew you before you were born. He knows your name. (insert smiley emoji here) He has numbered your days and He loves you dearly. His name is Jesus. The Bible tells us if we seek Him, we will find Him, if we seek with all our heart. No pandemic can take away the peace that trusting Jesus brings.

I wish you that peace.

Michael Iver Olson

Ford River

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