Vail Chamber and Business Association: Let’s remember we’re all in this together
Quick question: What was your reason for moving to the Vail Valley? For a job, for a significant other, for fun, the views, or the lifestyle?
There are so many reasons why each of us has ended up here today. And despite these different reasons for getting here, there are some commonalities that we all have whether we acknowledge them or not.
First, moving to the mountains takes a certain type of person, someone who has a respect and awe for our natural surroundings and environment. Second, we are looking for a smaller-town feel and community without many of the stresses that come from living in a city or more urban area. Third, most likely we are all active in more than one way whether it’s getting outside to ski, bike, hike or getting involved with local organizations via philanthropy or cultural pursuits. Most times on this last point, Vail locals and part-timers partake in all of the above.
So, given all these commonalities that we have whether we live here full-time or part-time, why has the lack of civility become so prevalent in our public forums these days?
Yes, we have projects and issues that people have differing opinions on. This is democracy and freedom of speech at work — we can disagree, that’s normal. Where we have deviated from the community I have enjoyed for the past 22 years is when things take a negative turn and we start demonizing another person because they don’t feel the same as we do.
Accusing a person you don’t agree with such as a councilperson, staff member, developer, business owner or stranger of not caring and being greedy because they are trying to fill a community need that you don’t agree with is not only spiteful, it’s most times just downright inaccurate.
Do you know this person? Did you know they have a family too? That they call this community home and want to see it prosper for future generations, including their own children? No, because as humans we are programmed to fall into the trap of becoming too busy making our own opinions to suit our own beliefs and don’t take the time to actually listen and understand the opposing view.
This is where we have taken a wrong turn of late. We don’t all have to agree and we can fight for what we believe because we should fight for what we believe. But being passionate about beliefs does no good if all people are hearing is bashing and negative comments. Voices and viewpoints are more effective and likely to be heard if insults are kept at bay and if facts and well-thought-out points are presented.
So let’s try to remember that ultimately we are all in this together. We all love our community and want to keep it the special place that it is. But we can’t do that if we continue to alienate those who don’t agree with us with vitriol and spite. Let’s give that a rest and stick to the facts so we can collectively come to a conclusion that reflects what is best for our community.
Stay involved and stay informed. If you are not already receiving the Vail Chamber and Business Association’s weekly newsletter, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start receiving it. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and Business Association and what we have to offer to businesses in and that do business in Vail, call 970-477-0075 or email email@example.com. Based in Vail Village, our office is located on the top of level of the Vail Transportation Center, so stop by and say hello.
Alison Wadey is the executive director of the Vail Chamber and Business Association.