Last week the threat of a doozy of a winter storm was at our doorsteps and I must admit that made me kinda giddy. The thoughts of a fireplace, hot cocoa, a good book and a cozy blanket all while watching the storm rage outside my window was very appealing. Conversations circulated about the much-anticipated storm. Comments of “how many inches do you think we’ll get?”, “guessing we may get snowed in,” “school cancelled yet?” were a very welcome break from some of the hatred and animosity we’ve recently seen in the media. While people often make fun of NW Iowa for how much we talk about the weather, we may just serve as a pretty good example of how to behave like adults when we disagree with each other. To use a quote from a recent Northwest Iowa Review editorial, "This isn’t to suggest that people should be hesitant to speak their minds, but would it be possible to speak with a little less animus, a little more understanding, a little more sense of humility?" How true this is. We aren’t all expected to agree with each other (and it’s a good thing we don’t), but we are called to respect each other, listen to each other and seek first to understand. I’m thankful that I live in a community where this is exemplified. We live in a place where we are ahead of the curve in realizing that working together, putting aside our own personal agendas and focusing on the greater good benefits our entire community. Discussion, brainstorming, pushing the envelope, and challenging each other’s thinking are all vital elements in coming up with successful solutions. And done with a spirit of mutual respect, great things can be accomplished. We see examples of this in our many joint-use projects, the recent Your Future @ Work event that served 545 sophomore students from all over Sioux County, schools collaborating in various projects, businesses joining together for a common mission and the list could go on and on. Thank you, Sioux Center, for being a place that focuses on the greater good rather than our own personal gains. Maybe others will start to follow our lead!
Barb Den Herder is the Executive Director of the Sioux Center Chamber, an inexperienced blog writer, and an advocate for over 250 chamber businesses.