At this writing, the outcome of the Presidential election isn’t clear. But what is clear is that the election has strained the social fabric of communities across our country, including our own. Passions are high and people are polarized. 

Despite the divisions, we must move forward. No matter who is in the White House, we face enormous tasks, from the immediate hardships caused by the pandemic to the longer-term challenges threatening the civic, economic, and environmental vitality of the Upper Valley.

What actions will move us forward as a region?  We can lean on principles that we at Vital Communities consider fundamental to our work. 

Commonality: We all share certain needs and concerns, regardless of our political outlook, such as food, housing, employment, a future for our children, and a love of place. These commonalities can inspire conversation and problem-solving.

Communication: We want respectful, open-minded discussion, in which our entire community is represented and feels heard, enabling a vibrant exchange of ideas and a shared sense of ownership in the outcome. 

Community: We achieve impact by working at the grassroots, neighbor to neighbor, town to town. We cherish each other and what our communities grow, produce, and create.

Whatever the nation’s leadership, if we lean on these principles we can make great things happen in our communities and be a beacon of hope for others elsewhere.

Photo: The Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge, by Dan Hertzler.