Wishing everyone a little more joy, love and peace
For many, Christmas is deeply rooted in religious faith. For others it is a cherished time to celebrate time-honored family traditions. And happily for Park City, it is also a time when people all over the world choose to visit our mountain resorts.
The underlying theme, though, is universal. Regardless of whether you will be spending Christmas Eve in church, at a family gathering, a neighborhood party or on the resort plaza, the holiday is meant to be a time of joy, love and peace.
And, judging by the news these days we could use a little more of all three.
The tone of our civic dialog has been increasingly shrill — whether it has to do with dogs and leashes, same-sex marriage laws, funding for Planned Parenthood, private rights on public lands or immigration — we have become deafened by ranting and rhetoric.
Christmas though, brings out our better nature, at least temporarily, as communities rally around the less fortunate and reach out to neighbors with plates of cookies and fragile truce.
Admittedly, our problems here in Summit County could be seen as trivial against today’s backdrop of war and economic collapse in the Middle East and racial tensions in our nation’s biggest cities.
In our peaceful community we have the luxury of focusing on what others would call petty disagreements like those mundane, yet incessant, conflicts surrounding dogs and traffic. In most cases, a little Christmas spirit could mend those fences quite easily. For instance, if dog owners made a bigger effort to restrain their pets and more commuters carpooled, we could spend more time focusing on more pressing issues.
We have more worthy challenges to face including poverty, mental health and access to both affordable housing and healthcare. Some meaningful conversations about those issues have begun at the city and county levels and we need to insist that they continue. That will require a return to respectful dialogue instead of divisive debate.
As we immerse ourselves in comfort and joy this week, let’s make a pact to hold onto that spirit throughout the year.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
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