Thursday, November 15, 2018
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Don’t let light beer taint our soul

It is interesting to see how Whatever is indeed impacting the soul of the community. We can debate all day about the short-term and long-term impacts of a great party for a light beer held on a wonderful weekend in September. The political process needs to tighten up. The secrecy should not happen again. We can surely come to an equitable solution with everyone in the valley on how to spend $500,000 in found money without going to war.
This was not an easy time for some. It brought up serious philosophical questions from the heart. But the rip in the community should stop. More than anything we need to release the over-wrought emotions and return to community. The anger that remains is frankly a bit surprising and poisonous. I’ve heard of too many people still being chastised and ostracized by those who were on the other side of the issue.
Civility and respect should not be casualties of this fight that is now winding down in the community. The argument is over. This is the time to learn—and heal.
I believe pretty much everyone that attended the BL event would agree it was a spectacle. Smiles outnumbered frowns 1,000-to-1 on that Friday and Saturday. I wish everyone would have stayed to ride that blue wave and experienced the experience. It was fun.
While people on both sides of the debate obviously have a valid passion for their community, we must each of us remember that it takes all of us to make a community. Not every person here holds the same exact values but the common core values must not be lost. High on that list is treating your neighbors with respect and, dare I say, even love. The continuing cloud of vitriol and anger toward fellow members of the community is strange here in this Crested Butte. We usually are able to fight and then buy one another a drink. The drinks are slow in coming this round for some reason.

This community is too strong and has come together and fought together with respect too many times to lose its soul over a successful September party sponsored by a light beer company.
The concern voiced at the beginning of this debate about losing our soul is real. But it’s not the party that will steal Crested Butte’s soul. No, the community will lose that soul if its tribe cannot come to grips with the differing opinions of our fellow citizens.
We lose our soul when we individually covet the money left as a gift from the event instead of looking for common projects that need improvement with the funds.
We lose our soul when we disrespect those who live with us, share the long off-seasons with us or come to visit and dance with us.
We lose our soul when we have no compassion or understanding for those who did not benefit from the party but instead took a hit.
We lose our soul when we spit on our neighbors who are brave enough to stand up and trust that their opinion will be heard in a diverse community—but aren’t.
We lose our soul when we divide into cliques or banish those who disagree with us from our circle.

Questioning our leaders and their decisions is legitimate. Voicing opposition or support of a controversial issue is legitimate. Arguing with one another is practically tradition and legitimate. Learning lessons and having a real discussion is legitimate. Throwing a mucus of hate onto those who publicly take a stand is not.

For members of the tribe to wallow in a place of anger and meanness is when the community will lose its soul. Instead, think about again embracing your neighbors, foibles and all. It is time to move on from the anger. As the leaves begin the turn to their autumn gold, it is time to heal the community soul.

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