It feels like everyone in our community and our state and nation is on the edge of anger so much of the time these days. It feels like people have forgotten about tolerance and kindness.

Can we dial that back a bit? We’ve noticed an edginess to responses on social media – on issues that shouldn’t invoke edginess, i.e., the fact that our school district, like so many districts, in the state is in dire need of substitutes.




We’ve seen businesses like Red Hen Bakery and Café in Middlesex post signs urging customers not to berate or be rude to staff members. That shouldn’t be necessary.

We’re all anxious about the pandemic. We’re all tired of it and its deadly consequences. We all want it to be over. People seem to want to blame each other, elected officials, their Uncle Bob (or all of the above) for the situation we’re in. That is not helpful. Turning on each other and cannibalizing our neighbors is not going to end this any quicker.

If we could take a step back, lower our collective tone of voice, take a deep breath and remember all that we have in common before we respond to perceived slights, innuendos and things that rub us the wrong way, it would go a long way.




We have more in common than we don’t and this pandemic, not to mention the hyper-partisan national political climate, seems to have made people forget that. Here in The Valley and in Vermont, we are neighbors. We are communities. Recall our local and collective response to the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene a decade ago.

Did we eat our own young then? Did we vent our rage at Mother Nature at each other? No, we did not. We rolled up our sleeves and helped each other without judgment or harshness. We did so out of kindness and caring.

Let’s err on the side of kindness with each other as we make our way through days of literal and figurative darkness. The solstice will come and the light will return. The pandemic will end at some point whether we act with kindness or ire. Let’s opt for kindness. Let’s dial it back a bit. We’ll all be glad we did.