Just how do we become a community where respect for others and concern for their well-being becomes the overriding measure of our success? To me, it seems that if we truly strive to be that community, each of us will be more watchful and more inclined to step in or speak up when we are faced with situations where actions and words do not meet that criteria. While I do not mean to imply that instances of name calling and articulated hatred based on religious, gender or racial differences is equivalent to the physical or mental abuse our clients are faced with every day in their own home – I do believe that turning a “blind eye” to such activities is detrimental to the overall health of our community. It is like the graffiti that is allowed to remain in plain view, or the ramshackle condition of a home in a neighborhood that then leads to the conclusion on that block that no one cares so why should I bother. Holding up and celebrating community members who are examples of how to conduct themselves is important – and so too is holding community members in leadership positions accountable for actions that go against the stated grain of our community fabric. In keeping with our “NO MORE” campaign, I challenge each of us to say that we will “No More” excuse or turn a blind eye to those who should be setting examples for their peers and for our young people. In the long run – that is the only way I know that we can “foster a community where individuals thrive in safe, healthy relationships” which is the vision statement that guides the work we do each and every day here at the WCA. Won’t you please join us?
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