As a not so closeted optimist, I like to think about those things I’ve succeeded in and, because I hate the word “failed,” those things that I haven’t succeeded in during the new year. This year I worked my butt off, I read a ton of books, I wrote a lot of stories, I had one published and few opinions posted here. I went to some cool places and met some incredible people and taught a few classes of amazing people.
After reflecting, I make goals for what I want to do better next year. How many books I want to read. Re-establishing diet and exercise goals after the holiday season’s excesses? A more important focus though, is what kind of human do I want to be, and what steps will bring me a bit closer?
As a community, the process could be the same. Consider, what should our goals be as citizens in a small community? What are the things we did well as citizens? What are things that could be improved?
One of the things I’ve always loved about our clean, green little town is the way we rally around citizens in need of help. Every time I look at the Boulder City community page (on social media) I see a post from someone in need, and by the time I click on the comments, the need has been filled four times over. Our community is incredibly generous, what a cool thing.
I also love when we rally around local businesses — Soda at the Nest, Boulder City Co. Store, Browder Bookstore, etc., and I apologize to all the important businesses I couldn’t include. I love you all! Making our town a desirable location for locals and tourists alike depends on our ability to support these businesses.
I think we’ve struggled this year with unity as a community. I’m not really interested in pinpointing all the places that division is occurring, or the reasons why. That is a cycle that could go on eternally. I’m more interested looking at incremental changes we can make as individuals that will impact our community as a whole.
My first thought is to listen and hear each other. There are plenty of hot takes flying around, but are we really listening to each other? It’s very easy to see a person’s belief in a controversial policy and associate the person as a whole with that feeling. When we ignore the nuanced, complexity behind these motivations is a setup. We create enemies out of neighbors because of our presumptions. The good news though is that it’s easy to get to know someone by having a real conversation and just asking questions with an intent to really learn about them.
In quoting Bill and Ted, my second thought is that we should be excellent to each other.
I’m not lying when I say I’m an optimist. I genuinely believe that people make decisions based on their perceived best course of action. Our life experience and biases ensure that the conclusions we come to will always be different, but the important part in bridging the divide is being generous in our interactions with and judgments of one another. If we can work harder to witness and acknowledge each other’s sincere efforts, it will go a long way.
There are other things for sure: a willingness to compromise, kindness, patience in mutual weakness, inclusivity, and perhaps most often overlooked, civility. Each of us will make our own resolutions – some will be written down, some may exist as an unspoken intention. Whatever those end up being, I hope that the needs of our little town are a part of (what is) considered.
My last thought is that unity doesn’t happen in spite of our differences, it occurs when people learn to acknowledge and utilize those differences to create strength.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.
Alycia Calvert is a longtime Boulder City resident. She has lived here with her husband and children for the past 15 years. She will graduate with her Master of Fine Arts in May, and is excited to get more time for writing. She loves hiking, biking, kayaking, supporting Boulder City’s small business community and thinking weird wandering thoughts.