The Sunday after the election we revisited Gateway Natural Area, soaking in some much needed sunshine and mountain air.
Since our last visit in October, the leaves had fallen, the grass had turned brown and the scars from past wildfires were more visible as we hiked up Black Powder Trail.
We made it to the top this time and took in the views of the Seaman Reservoir and highway 14 far below.
I looked out over the vista and hoped the hateful rhetoric we’ve been inundated with the past year was just hyperbole. Like when my six year old declares we are the “Worst. Parents. Ever.”
I hoped with all my heart we as a society can find some common ground and learn to speak without tearing each other down. But I wasn’t going to hold my breath.
Instead I stood on a mountain top, inhaled deeply and started a list in my head. Of things I can do. Of things I can teach my children to do…
- Consume and champion facts.
- Listen to others, welcome opposing views and allow my own views to evolve.
- Stand up to injustices inflicted on fellow humans as well as our planet.
- Choose words carefully. Speech matters and has consequences.
- Get involved. Be passionate. Be kind.
We all have different life experiences, we all have a different tolerance for speech and social injustices. But we share this world and we have to talk to each other. We’ve been deeply divided. I don’t have any answers but I will start with me.