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I Hereby Resolve

In the last week or so I’ve heard a lot of people trash New Year’s Resolutions. Several friends have called them, “Stupid.” To each their own. I’m not out to judge anyone, but for me that’s a short-sighted way of looking it. New Year’s resolutions can be fun and inspiring. This year my resolution is to make each day Thanksgiving.

I resolve to be more appreciative.

We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the United States. Our town is New York’s last gasp before crossing the border into Pennsylvania, and the state wants to make sure you miss it. The beautiful river, the majestic eagles, the sense of history, the festivals, the parades, the charming bridge saying, “You can leave, but you’ll be back.” The people.We, the people.

I can’t think of anyone who isn’t passionate about life in that hamlet of Narrowsburg and the town of Tusten. Ours is a community about which people care. Now, passion can be a slippery slope. Put twenty passionate people in a room trying to figure something out and you’ll end up with at least twenty-one impassioned ideas. It can be frustrating, but even if you disagree with someone, you’ve got to give them credit for caring and giving you the chance to see something through their eyes. That thought brings me to a second resolution.

Talk less. Listen more. Do more.

That may sound counter-intuitive when coming from someone who is writing a column. I’m giving it my best shot in the hopes of concentrating less on the disagreement and more on the why of what is being said. None of us has the power or the means to always give people what they think they need, but we can make sure they leave the conversation feeling heard.

We had a very icy morning a few weeks ago, on the Flats in Narrowsburg. Three people, perhaps more, fell. Two required the help of our wonderful emergency service volunteers. One ended up with broken bones and a hospital stay. Emails and texts started flying, all with the same basic question. “How can we help?” Dogs were walked. People were checked on. Later that week our neighbor Ed brought over an incredible meal. What goes around comes around when you have good neighbors.

In a town the size of Narrowsburg, it could be argued everyone is your neighbor. President Truman once said, “In order to have good neighbors, we must also be good neighbors. That applies in every field of human endeavor.” Can’t argue with that, but I’m sure someone might try, and I’ll listen.

Happy new year to all.

Photo Credit - John Dunrea Riffey


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