Guest editorial: We can do better, Park City. Start by treating others with respect.
We can do better. I’ll be the first to stand up and admit I’ve got room for improvement, and I’m hoping you’ll consider my challenge to do better too. I’m carrying a lot right now as we all are, and we can do better in being respectful community members.
Recently, while waiting for my son at the neighborhood bus stop, I was assaulted. It was raining and I was pulled off to the side of the entrance of my neighborhood where we all wait for our kids. It’s a bit of a rural neighborhood so parents often drive to and from the bus stop. A neighbor found my choice of space to wait for my son inconvenient. In a rage he decided to curse, scream and ultimately strike me in the face while I was seated in my car. Nothing like this has ever happened to me, and I’ll tell you it’s a shock to the system. It’s getting better with time but I still feel off — emotional, scared, seeing it over and over again.
Anyway, today I decided to treat myself to a day off in order to enjoy some outside time with a long mountain bike ride to clear my head and just be.
So today I had my bliss. I rode up to the crest trail and actually took in the view. After riding down from 9,000-plus feet, I was freezing. I started up my car, cranked the heat and took a quick glance at my phone. It’s then that I noticed an email from the prosecuting attorney handling my assault case. I scanned it quickly when I noticed a man standing behind my car in the rear view mirror. He was holding a pad of paper and pen and was furiously writing something down while squinting at the rear of my vehicle. I rolled down my window and asked if everything was OK or if I could help him with something. This man — middle aged, shirtless, angry — proceeded to lecture me about illegal idling in Park City. I tried to interject that I wasn’t intending to idle but simply attending to an email before driving. He wouldn’t hear it. Couldn’t extend a listening ear, compassion, or understanding. There was no moment of grace or an “I get it. Next time remember to turn off your car.”
To the neighbor, is it worth it to strike a mother in the face instead of driving around? To the man in the PCMR parking lot, is your anger bringing awareness or fear? I’m curious about how either of these men contribute positively to our community. I’m a good citizen, parent, and friend. I do a pretty good job at being environmentally responsible and am active in the community. I recycle, I volunteer, I donate to good causes, I hold doors open for people, I smile and say hi to strangers, I turn off lights when I leave a room, I am committed to raising two socially responsible young men, and I serve our community by providing mental health treatment and have for years in various capacities. I also just graduated from the Park City Leadership program. I am dedicated and invested in this town.
We can do better. Nobody needs to angrily engage with their fellow community member to set them straight. We can give each other a kind reminder. We can smile at people and believe that most people don’t intend to break the rules or make mistakes.
We can do better and I am committed to doing my part. I happen to know a little something about how to create change and join with people versus creating animosity and fear; it’s what I do professionally. I know my faults and try to work toward being a better person. I am open to change and recognition of my own need for growth. I hope you’ll join me in participating in a return to civility. Please take time for self care. This town is getting more crowded, we have more traffic; it just IS, so figure out how to cope and treat others with respect.
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“Where will we get the water, sewage treatment, police, fire, city services, broadband capacity and green power? How will we stop the gridlock that will result from all this expansion?” asks Victor Janulaitis.