From the Publisher

As I write this, the amount of pain in our country, our state, and our own backyard seems to have been magnified with every additional act of hate. But listing them doesn’t provide solutions, and it won’t provide healing. Bottom line, each is a lot to deal with, and having them overlap can be overwhelming, making it difficult to address each appropriately and as significantly as needed.

What can one person do? First, make sure to take care of yourself—make you a priority. This helps you remain healthy and at your best when taking care of others, working, and participating in your community. And when you’re doing so and expressing your personal beliefs and wishes, please do so with empathy and an openness to understanding the others in it as well.

We don’t have to always agree when working together on behalf of our community—no one person or group is completely right or knows the best direction to take. Life is a lesson that leads to learning and growth. I think human interaction where we’re open to the stories of others can be the most impactful. Though we can read books and take classes, listening to human experiences has the potential to expand our own awareness.

My challenge to you over the next couple of months is to be vulnerable—allow yourself to meet and really get to know someone new. This may not only be positive for you, but also those around you. How we make it through the toughest times in our collective present and history may be determined by how well we listen and interact.

Amy Johnson