My view

Stop the hate; heal the divide

By MARIAN KEEGAN
Posted 3/23/22

I’m a forester who is trained to read landscapes. The landscape of our lovely town, which is also the Pike County seat, is rapidly changing a gently sloping valley to a steep and widening …

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My view

Stop the hate; heal the divide

Posted

I’m a forester who is trained to read landscapes. The landscape of our lovely town, which is also the Pike County seat, is rapidly changing a gently sloping valley to a steep and widening gorge. The waterway channeling the gorge is powered by hate, widening the divide.  

Far be it from me to ever suggest that a waterway ought to be drained or dried up. However, this metaphor of our hateful waterway widening the divide between us must end. Too many sincere, community-minded people are being hurt.

Natural ecosystems are healthy and sustainable when diversity is intact. Our country, our county is diverse. Sadly, and with great peril to our safety and security, we have lost the will to respect our differences and our diversity. Good can spring from adversity when we see the humanity in each other; recognize everyone’s diverse needs, wants, hopes, and dreams; and act for the common good.

The recent vandalism to personal property in this county seat took such a form that the hateful intent seems clear. The state police will investigate, and rightly so.  The responsible parties will be held accountable. (See brief on page 2.)

I am also a candidate for the Pennsylvania General Assembly running to represent ALL people of the 139th House District. My skill from many decades as a scientist and natural resource practitioner focuses on managing natural resources for healthy ecosystems and building bridges across controversial divides to connect community voices and find workable, practical solutions. Hate is not a beginning. Hate scuttles settlement. Hate disrupts reason. Hate takes you to absurdity, asks you to suspend your disbelief, ignores your good judgement, makes fools of unsuspecting victims.

The recent act of hateful vandalism threatens a thriving business, property, and people’s safety.  A woman owns the vandalized property. I am a woman and have felt the fear from threats to my safety and the toll it takes. Everyone is threatened by violence. Small businesses in town that are struggling to survive crises should be supported and celebrated, not threatened by violence. Hospitality/tourism/recreation is the top economic sector in Pike County. Small businesses that support this economy cannot thrive should visitors go elsewhere.

We are a community of people. We have our differences and arguments, but our sense of community defines us. This hate must stop. This divide must heal. My hope, if the creeks don’t rise, is that we shall overcome our own foibles and move progress forward.

Marian Keegan is a forester and scientist. She is running for the state House in the 139th District, representing parts of Pike and Wayne counties. She lives in Lackawaxen Township, PA.

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