All Is Not Lost

Oct 23, 2019

To the Editor:

I don’t know about you, but everything is so crazy right now that I am grateful for a little mental relief whenever and wherever I can find it – and I don’t mean binging on cute kitten videos or allowing HGTV to drone on endlessly in the background. I mean getting out there and taking the time to notice and acknowledge when someone is making a difference by moving things forward and bringing people together, not pushing them apart.

Yes, admittedly, I am looking for instances that provide a healthy counter balance to what is going on with those who are supposedly running the country. Besides voting, I don’t have any way to affect that, and 13 months is a long time to wait for my chance to cast a ballot. For my own mental health right now, though, I need to keep showing myself that I can still find examples of competence, kindness, communication, compassion and accountability, even in my small world. I consciously challenge myself to notice an example of at least one of these qualities every day because it gives me hope.

I am grateful to my friend John Imperiale (who is, thankfully, running for commissioner in Harvey Cedars) for consistently reminding me that it is still possible to get things done in a way that builds consensus and alliances. Watching his quiet, but effective, management skills in action reaffirms that well-run meetings get results, timely and appropriate follow-up is essential for forward motion, and bringing together people who may share different views in a constructive way can lead to positive results.

So this is my therapy right now, watching competent people like John and others make a difference and knowing that all is not lost. It also inspires me to be an example of the qualities I respect in others. We have the opportunity for hope all around us, if we take the time to notice.

Ella Throop




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