Letter: We’re a family, not we/they or us/them | PostIndependent.com

Letter: We’re a family, not we/they or us/them

Perry Will talked to the Grand Valley Kiwanis Club on a recent Monday, and three times he referred to us as “you all in this room.” I’m not sure what he thought he was trying to say, but what I heard was “all you in this room — ‘we’ — understand I represent the Western Slope … not ‘they’ who live in cities, or on the other side, over there.” Perhaps he also thought we all think alike? We do not.

Pitting one group against or in opposition of another is not what family does. We are a family now; all of us except native Americans have come from somewhere else. The history we cannot ignore is that we stole, cheated, bargained, took, plotted and ended up with native American land. That dismal period we must acknowledge as well as the equally horrid period with African-heritage human beings. We are an imperfect family who left countries for tolerance toward all religions and for freedom of speech, unclear just what that means.

As a family, we must find answers very soon for climate change, planet care, and the powerful hold money has over all and ruling the day. Compromises made in the past to achieve peace in the family must not be eroded away, ignored as if they can be erased. Science, facts, truth and values matter; family has to find them.

A question I have is how do we get people into the wilderness, the mountains, the waters, the land in a way that they experience how vital and necessary those things are to our well-being? Our politicians should be required to visit 75% of our states, learn and discover the they in we and the them in us.

We are an American family. Our differing cultural backgrounds identify what that means to us as individuals. Best not to use sports’ analogies of winning for one meaning a loss for another. We are all here together on one finite planet; it’s our home.

Mary Hokanson

Battlement Mesa

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