I am writing you now because I am fearful that how we talk about our differences is pulling us apart and fracturing our community.
What has made Chelsea special over the years has been its commitment to being supportive to its inhabitants. The latter did not mean we were perfect, nor did it mean we were in sync with all of our beliefs.
We were, however, not quick to escalate a situation; we listened and learned from our differences. We valued civility and kindness and mostly avoided using labels which diminish the humanity of those that have different perceptions than our own
I have been proud to live in Chelsea and raise my children here. My children were free thinkers and at times pushed the envelope with elders/systems.
What was cool about Chelsea then is that I could talk to the school principal and be heard. All parties could admit their part in the conflict; we resolved that we would not let those differences pull us apart and we would do better the next time.
The Chelsea I have lived in wanted to do the right thing. Sometimes, they fell short but I stood by them because I firmly believed they wanted to do the right thing.
We gave each other the benefit of the doubt. We were not too proud/scared to admit that we messed up. Of course, we messed up. As a wise teacher once told his pupils, you are all precious as you are and you all could use a little improvement.
The election of a new mayor and some new city council members is coming up soon. If we want to have an ongoing vibrant supportive community, the one I know, we need to tell those that are running for office that we expect them to use the differences they encounter while serving our community to be used as opportunities for growing wisdom, compassion, and curiosity.