Our country and its communities have faced hard times before. Think about our parents and grandparents who grew up in the Depression only to have to fight and win the Second World War. These folks, many of whom have passed or are nearing the end of their lives, went on to build a nation and the economic prosperity that we now enjoy.
My parents were part of that great generation. I was constantly reminded by my father that they had struggled through those hard times, but that there were no better times than now. That generation after the war had a great sense of optimism about the future, and a great feeling of gratitude for what they presently had.
They embraced the Pilgrim’s “Mayflower Spirit.”
On this Thanksgiving weekend, a time with COVID 19 that makes our celebrations very different, I think we too can be grateful and also embrace optimism in the future.
I am optimistic that we will overcome this pandemic. I am hopeful that vaccines will be widely available sometime this spring. I am optimistic and hopeful that Highlands will have a spring season where people can once again get together at public events, in places of worship, and in businesses like our fine restaurants and retail stores. I hope our young people can return to school free of worries and concerns.
I miss seeing people in the way we used to encounter one another. Too many times I have been in the grocery store and fail to recognize folks who are wearing masks. I hope for the day soon where I can see people’s facial expressions, especially their smiles.
I am optimistic about the future of this town because of how so many people have responded to this current crisis. The love and concern for one another and for our community institutions has been life affirming.
Like our forefathers and mothers who stepped forward to meet huge challenges, so many Highlanders have done the same. I will be grateful this Thanksgiving that I live in such a caring community.
Like in so many towns and villages across the country, I think that “Mayflower Spirit” still lives here.
Now for a couple of more mundane items that make me optimistic. I am optimistic that we will have the Highlands Smart City Fiber Optic Network operative this coming year. That network will serve the community well into the future.
I am also optimistic that the people of Highlands will create a wonderful community plan by the end of the coming year. It will be essential for us to create a collective vision for the future of Highlands.
Everyone can participate in the Highlands Community Plan at some level. If you have not done so, please take a few minutes this holiday and complete the Highlands Community Plan Survey.
Simply go to the town website and click on the Highlands Community Plan.
The survey can be found there. As of last week, over 720 people had taken the survey. I hope that many more people will respond in the coming weeks.
The community plan steering committee and the professionals guiding the process need as much information as possible from a cross section of the community.
Have a grateful Thanksgiving weekend.
- Town of Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor