Rick Schultz, St. Joseph mayor
St. Joseph mayor
Occasionally…not very often, I feel compelled to voice my humble opinion to the masses.
This time I feel an obligation to react, not emotionally, but rationally to the ever, ongoing events which seem to be tearing us apart. To date, I’ve never received as much incendiary mail as I have in the past several months…for lack of decisions or too many decisions; for lack of action or too much action; for waiting too long or not waiting long enough.
While aspects of the current pandemic and civil unrest will be debated for years to come, somehow during all of this, we have lost the civility of common decency to speak to one another, without it becoming an emotional, anger driven argument. To me, personally, it comes down to respect. Each of us should have some allowance for expression of deference to one another.
People who don’t share the same political views and aspirations are simply fellow neighbors, residents and businessmen, who have life experiences and viewpoints different from our own. They are not all intent on destroying our community as we know it.
The many cultural and technological changes – combined with a growing sense of economic unfairness – has stressed our community’s common understandings and fabric. Many fear being left behind, while others are angry over not being included in the decision making.
It seems like a quagmire – taking sides, distrust, contempt, with no way out. I believe our community’s fabric is being mangled, however, it is unbreakable, and we must stop the bickering, finger-pointing and find ways to work together. Words being used today in adversarial social arguments are not helpful, nor productive.
During this time as political and society divide us, do what you think or know is right, just don’t hate others who disagree with you. We are working our way back and I know we will be fine.
None of this will likely bring any big breakthroughs, but there is an opportunity to get to know and understand each other a bit more — and treat each other with a little respect.