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Building Bridges, Not Walls
Where are Today's Bridge Builders??
Recently, I have heard many people call for a return to the good old days of our city when a person could feel safe in their neighborhood and secure in their home. But those good times were built through the acceptance of our differences and a willingness to work through the difficulties we faced and shared together, as a community. Indeed, that yesteryear we remember so fondly was created in large part by building bridges of understanding and acceptance.
Today, we seem more intent on securing ourselves behind walls rather than reaching out to each other for common solutions. We are turning inward to a place where no one and no thing can touch us; and that is sad for it's own sake. History is replete was examples of societies that walled themselves off from the world in hopes that their chosen way of life would be sustained and untouched. And yet, at the end of the day, they found that brand of cheerless and rigid isolation was far too high a price to pay. They found themselves truly alone, the walled off world they had created separating their smaller community from the richness and diversity that is the hallmark of our great social contract.
So as we stand at this present day crossroads in our community, let us pause to ask this simple question: Are groups such as Take Back Santa Cruz or Santa Cruz Neighbors or the newly formed Together for a Safer Santa Cruz building bridges of understanding and acceptance or are they building walls of separation and mistrust? And when you've answered this question, ask the same of yourself.
We can build bridges to the future in our community or we can, brick by brick, raise walls that seal us into the past. The choice, for now, remains ours to make.