One of my favorite quotes is “You don’t have to believe everything you think.” That has never applied more profoundly than it does today, with what is happening in our country. Confirmation bias is real and everyone is guilty of it from time to time. Being open to new and different sources of information, questioning the narrative, and attempting meaningful discourse with others is a good path to take during these tumultuous times. I’m seeing longtime friendships ruined over attachments to opinions. I question a lot, and I think we as Americans don’t even know what we don’t know.

People have commended me for my restraint and composure on my Facebook page over the past few months on rather benign posts which derail and devolve into personal attacks. I try my best to keep things civil and allow all sides to be heard as long as the conversation stays respectful. It doesn’t always. And that sort of thing is evident across all commonly used social media platforms, not just my personal page, and it’s even worse in local neighborhood groups. Although I’m certainly not perfect by any means (who is?), I try to keep in mind No. 2 and No. 3 on the Four Agreements list by Don Miguel Ruiz (printed here). For what it’s worth, it helps. I still occasionally fail during times of extreme stress, but I believe trying is what matters. Mostly, what I try to be is open.

Speaking of being open, if you love living in our beautiful foothills community, and appreciate all it offers you, please consider supporting all our struggling small businesses who are open and trying to survive after and during the devastating effects of the last three months. They have sustained some of the harshest impacts from it all and they need us. Shop and dine locally and take advantage of local services wherever possible. These businesses contribute greatly to the value of our community. Thank you, and I hope we can all find a way to come together on some middle ground toward the common goal of healing our country.