The Painful Divide

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I had a call last week with a mentor and we got to talking about the divide not only in our country but in our small rural communities.  She said something to me that really got my wheels turning, “Do you think all of the negative ads on tv and political drama have made people more negative and do you think if we changed the narrative, that might help our entire community?” YES YES YES!!!

For me, the divide that our country is experiencing is painful. I honestly don’t believe that the divide we are currently experiencing is helping anyone in our country. I do however believe that our divide is helping other countries. I don’t want leaders that take sides. I don’t want leaders that bash other leaders. I don’t want leaders I can’t trust. I don’t want leaders who don’t want to see positive change. I don’t want leaders who want to lead because they have a personal agenda. I want leaders that lead for the better. This goes for our rural community as well.

Our leaders in Hand County, the City of Miller, On Hand Development Board, Miller School Board, Miller Civic and Commerce and all of the other boards in town are leading their community thru some very difficult times. Think about all of the difficult decisions these different leaders have had to make in the past three years? COVID 19, the School Fire, and then the after effects of COVID 19. I believe that our leaders in our community have gotten through those difficult decisions with grace, passion, and patience. They have visited with folks on all sides of the issues and did what was in the best interest of the people who live, work and play in our community.

I also truly believe that we humans are neither instinctively selfish and confrontational, nor ruthless and violent. Instead, we are born to find common ground, cooperate and share. I especially believe this to be true in places like Hand County. We have the most honest, compassionate, and generous people here. We need to change the narrative. We need to hear the wonderful things that are happening here with all of the wonderful people. Let’s focus on all of the wonderful things that came out of our community and the wonderful things yet to come.   

Our entire country is polarized and embattled to the point of dysfunction. How might we as an entire community work together to make sure this doesn’t happen where we live? My first thought is we need leaders to step up. Leaders who have passion for our community, leaders who want our community to thrive and leaders who want to be part of the team. My second thought is we need to listen. Our leaders need to listen every voice and community members need to listen and pay attention to what’s going on. My third thought is we need to give our leaders praise, support, and time to make the right decisions. We do life with these people every day so let’s make sure to be kind and thank them.

My optimistic outlook tells me that when we look for the good, it turns out it will turn up right in front of our face. It also tells me that people reading this that want to see a positive change, want to see our community continue to thrive, and want to be part of something so wonderful; these people will step up. These people will take on leadership roles in our community because they don’t want to see our community in a painful divide like the rest of our country.

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