Lew Sitzer: Imagine some stability by saying ‘no’ to a few things
Imagine that what we are now experiencing becomes the new norm.
Imagine that our climate creates longer, hotter summers with more fires and smoke.
Imagine that COVID-19 continues with new variants and new vaccine boosters.
Imagine that our world, nation and community continue to struggle with the controversy of masking and anti-vaxxers.
Imagine that our health care systems stay impacted and stressed.
Imagine that our politics continue in turmoil.
Imagine that our children and school systems struggle to educate.
Imagine that our families continue to search for stability.
We are all transitioning. Imagine that this new norm will be with us for the next decade or two. Ask yourself, what do we want and how do we get there?
Most of us want to settle the waters and calm the storms. Most of us want to find some safe way to resume contact with love ones and friends. Most of us want leadership and direction upon which we can agree. Can we even remember what normal was like?
Meanwhile, new challenges keep coming. Fires and smoke. Drought. A new governor? A gold mine? How much more uncertainly do we want to add to our already uncertain and strained world?
Do we want more uncertainty added to the mix with a new governor? Do we want to add the disruptive industry of mining when we can’t fill the jobs we already have open now while the timber, forest and fire-fighting industries are bursting with job opportunity and will be for years to come?
We have never been a community that has come together unless it was an emergency or crisis like a fire. Are we now at that level but like the frog being boiled in water, are we unaware that the heat is being turned up?
There are many old sayings that seem true today, such as “it’s best not to change horses in the middle of the stream” or “not throw a monkey wrench into the works” by electing an unknown, untried politician into office. Or “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.”
As Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers, said when signing the Declaration of Independence, in what all of the signatories knew would be viewed as their death warrant by the English authorities: “Surely it is better to hang together rather than hang separately.”
We have the opportunity to steady our ship and calm the waters. We can agree to disagree on some things, but becoming a more supportive community will help. Supporting our public systems of police, fire and health by complying with community policies and mandates and building trust with all participants. Becoming more civil, more patient, more ready to listen and find common ground, all will make a difference.
Meanwhile, my advice is to keep it simple, vote no on the recall, no on the mine, circle our wagons and hang together or surely we will hang separately.
Lew Sitzer lives in Nevada City.
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“You’ve heard me say this before: Every acre can and will burn someday in this state” — Cal Fire Director Thom Porter.