Diverse Thanksgiving guest list reflects changing times | ParkRecord.com

Diverse Thanksgiving guest list reflects changing times

The Park Record editorial, Nov. 23, 2016


Take a look around your Thanksgiving table this Thursday. If yours is like many in Park City, there are likely some new faces -– recent additions to the family, new friends, or perhaps old friends who have returned after a hiatus for school or military service. Perhaps someone is attending dinner for the first time with a different gender identity, or is in the throes of another kind of life transition and is seeking a temporary refuge for the holiday.

Welcome to America, version 2016.

Like our global economy, Park City and Summit County are evolving, increasingly transient and culturally diverse. Thanks to technology and social media, the status quo has been shattered and the only option is to move forward. The changes are apparent in our schools, our auditoriums and arenas, our halls of government and even in our churches — at our destination resorts and in our small rural towns, too.

But we still have a lot to learn about each other. Maybe even about our own neighbors. As evidenced by the aftermath of the presidential election, Parkites may be inching toward acceptance on some levels but many are as intolerant as ever when it comes to politics.

This year it's likely many Thanksgiving hosts will wish their guests came equipped with mute buttons. Instead, we should listen more closely, perhaps even reach across the table to find common ground. And if the conversation sounds more like an echo chamber than an exchange of contrasting opinions, it might be wise to talk about ways to incorporate a broader political spectrum at the next gathering.

In this new version of our interconnected world, moats are obsolete. Regardless of our differing political persuasions, our economic and environmental fates are intertwines. So are our children's futures. So we might as well get on with it. We can start with our own neighborhoods and towns across the county.

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And as long as we are inviting new faces to the table, let's make sure some offer different political perspectives too — as long as they understand that no one will be excluded.

Send us a photo of your Thanksgiving table, your guests, not the food, please. Post it with the label #ParkCityThanksgiving on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.