Unity and Civility Q&A

Q: Do you think there are ways for residents to come together for the common purpose of maintaining WP as a desirable place to live? Or, don’t you see it as an issue?

A: The topic of community division frequently surfaces in our conversations, and I often hear other candidates dismissing this as just a popular talking point. They say there’s no real division and that we’re all aligned toward a singular goal. “Bridging generations,” they say.

However, I stand apart in acknowledging that a certain gap does exist within our community. To clarify my standpoint, think back to last December’s blackout. A fellow resident confided in me that when the power was restored, they felt a slight pang of nostalgia for the darkness. Why? Because it was during that blackout they discovered a unique bond with their neighbors, a community spirit they hadn’t felt in a while. And once the lights were back, that connection seemed to fade away.

This raises the question: What truly divides us? It’s not the usual categories: age, occupation, political affiliations, or ideologies. The real chasm, I believe, exists between those who are open to dialogue, understanding, and collaboration versus those who staunchly stick to a ‘my way or the highway’ approach.

Earlier this year, I was disheartened to witness the rising incivility, especially in platforms like the Whispering Pines Life Facebook group. This group, albeit unofficial, became a hotbed for residents to express discontent with village ordinances and decisions. The displeasure spilled over, leading to confrontational calls to the Village Hall. This chain of events ultimately pushed the Village Council to convene a special meeting and issue a resolution on maintaining civility.

Such conflicts, no matter how petty they seem, can strain neighborly bonds and add unnecessary stress to our community fabric. We’ve seen personal invasions of privacy, name-calling, and derogatory comments targeting our village representatives. All of which is beneath the standard of decorum we should uphold.

Let’s remember that Whispering Pines is more than a location; it’s a community. Every resident has a role to play in maintaining its charm, peace, and unity. Let’s commit to fostering understanding, respect, and collaboration. Because in unity, we’ll always find our strength.

We can solve big problems if we are open to collaboration, open to reasonable compromises, and open to what others have to say.