Letter: Community success starts with listening
January 30, 2014
To the Editor:
Maybe it is time to stop talking and start listening to one another.
This is a letter to address what I believe has recently been a deluge of negative responses to situations within the Grand County Community.
This letter is not directed to any one board or individual. It is a plea to our Grand County community to stop pointing fingers and making generalizations and begin listening to what everyone has to say.
When a person in a position of authority is questioned, often it is not that the person questioning is doubting the integrity of the individual or saying that the person has not carefully considered the matter at hand, it is just because the person asking would like more information so they can better understand a decision and feel part of the cause or institution.
Several years ago I heard a wonderful speaker advise members of a group to "listen to everyone." One never knows when that quiet person sitting in the back row might just have the answer to solve a difficult problem.
The other thing we must as community strive to do is respect everyone. The person who wishes to be heard may not be fortunate to have the same educational or financial background as the leader, but they are part of our Grand County Community "Family." Chances are they may know some history on a situation which a newer member of the community is not aware of at present. Honor that person for what they have done in their life and their skills. We should never dismiss someone's question or concern because we believe we know what is best and think we understand the situation better.
Our community has done some amazing things in recent years. We all need to remember it has been the whole "village" and not just a few who have made this progress possible.
Those persons entrusted with "power" need to welcome community members to be part of the process of leadership and acknowledge the support given in the past by these same folks.
The only way to stop mean-spirited gossip is to give people actual knowledge. Then when they hear an untruth they can correct the person with facts.
Leaders and community members also need to express their appreciation to all who are willing to be part of our community's success.