Last year, I wrote a column about wanting more kindness in the world and a lot less politics in the public. I used our annual craft show as an example.
In 2021, we had to have someone removed who was spreading his political views and making a lot of people uncomfortable. We had complaint about not requiring masks. We had complaints from those not in masks.
In reality, it was a pretty negative day, leaving my husband and me feeling a little deflated and pessimistic about the state of our local communities.
This year, we hosted the same craft show at Douglas County Fairgrounds over Thanksgiving weekend. I can’t even begin to explain the difference in attitudes with our vendors and public.
In general, everyone was happy. They were kind and seemed genuinely happy to be out and about supporting local businesses and the local community.
We had thousands of people come to the show and everyone had bigger smiles and better attitudes, and they left my husband and me feeling a lot better about the community this year.
Are things perfect? No. We still have a lot of anger out there. We still have a lot of people believing only one side of a political debate is right — that being theirs.
However, we have a lot less of it in places where it is not welcome. At community events, people are coming out and showing kindness to one another. We have a lot more human decency over anger and disdain at local events.
I often say the pandemic brought out the worst in the world. From fear and anger to misinformation and political views — We did not behave at our best as a society in the face of controversy and trouble.
Are we finally recovering from that? I truly hope so.
I am of the belief that most people in this world are good. I believe most are well-intentioned. I believe anger and lack of kindness was a blip and we have learned we can disagree or be upset — but we do not have to make it about everything we do and everywhere we go.
Here’s to our local residents and community leaders who have worked to set a better example in 2022 and create a much more friendly atmosphere for something like a holiday craft show.
I realize with all the hate crimes, tragedy and continued violence that is unnecessary in this world — this seems like a small drop in the bucket but it is something to build on. I cannot begin to express the sadness I had after the 2021 craft show when so many were hateful and angry through the two-day event.
Let’s hope the work to be better, happier and more accepting continues in 2023. Let’s hope in 2023, we can have fewer tragedies and more positives to build on as I believe we did in 2022.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.