Village Viewpoint, July 2024 

Dear Neighbors. 

I hope this message finds you well. Today, I write to you with a hopeful heart and a mind focused on the values that make our community strong and unique. 

Over the past few weeks, I have received calls and emails and personally met with neighbors who were in tears and shared different stories that were upsetting, frustrating, and unpleasant encounters with other neighbors. They share them with me to try to find ways to resolve the issue or just to vent. It’s been difficult to hear and each of the stories weighs heavy on me. Senseless and mean acts such as the Pride flag and display that was burned and ruined, our local business that was crashed into and robbed. A new business being criticized online because there was a hiccup with their purchasing system, or calls from people who tell me they were treated unkindly or felt intimidated by a neighbor or a group. Then there are the neighbors who are scared and traumatized by a shooting on their block. These stories leave us all upset, frustrated, angry, and on edge. That is why I ask us to take a deep breath and practice these good old-fashioned ideas. 

Be patient: Our local business owners work hard daily to provide us with goods and services that enhance our community. We should show respect and understanding, especially during busy or difficult times. We never fully know the struggles others are facing. Patience always ends in a better outcome. Show gratitude: A nice and heartfelt thank you goes a long way. 

Avoid Judgment: Don’t make assumptions of people or their intentions until you meet them or find out what they are all about. Instead of judging, offer support instead. And please don’t spread misinformation and say mean things online. 

Be respectful and considerate to your neighbors. Don’t let your dog bark outside all day, pick up after your dog. Don’t have your music blaring. Just be a good neighbor. 

Lastly, and always the best answer. Practice Kindness: A simple act of kindness can go a long way. In the words of our beautiful neighbor, Mary Cate Lynch, Choose Kind. 

We chose to live in this community because of the people who live here. We are neighbors who are kind, supportive, caring, and empathetic. Let’s not let this crazy world get the best of us. 

I hope to see you at the next Porch Concert, and the Garden Walk!  

Warmly, 

Mary Jo 

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