Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Charity Starts at Home

I don't know that we have seen the divisiveness being caused on a myriad of fronts by this virus reaction. Separation and segregation and division on front after front after front. In the face of the "we are all in this together" claims, reality is that we are all being forced to our own little island. 

One takeaway from this is just how crucial it is to live in a place where you are comfortable being. This has taught us that in choosing a home location, we may well be bound by that choice and not as free to roam as we once were. There isn't necessarily an escape alternative even if you own somewhere else. We have become bound by the state line and by and large the states have adopted one size fits all plans, regardless of where you are in a state or how appropriate that response may be to your local situation.

One thing that has struck me though is how vehemently the vacation states like VT and ME have alienated out of state home owners in addition to the tourists they up until now cajole into spending money in their state to bolster their economy. Some of this precaution I can obviously understand as they are simply protecting themselves, shutting their borders to immigrants trying to escape whatever situation, atrocity or horror they find themselves in. 

Our house in NEK VT has sat empty all year and likely will continue to do so until we decide just what to do with it. At first we didn't want to run the risk of taxing the infrastructure at the cost of my family, who all live there. Now though, as the lock downs ease and states including MA start to reopen, we don't feel welcome in our second home, my once native home of VT. The problem is not only what we are seeing on the news and social media but that I know what people there are like, and how they feel about outsiders.How I was taught to feel. How I once felt. 

As we start to rebuild though and memory fades, I hope that people remember this lesson, that you can only rely on your home and that your home state and further, town is a really important choice. So many have flocked to the woods and trails and for those who live in towns with little public land and green space, that meant heading out to the towns that do. We've all returned to walking, hiking, running and cycling in record numbers, taxing the woefully inadequate infrastructure while at the same time exposing it's inate value. Remember this moving forward, how import this issue is, when allocating resources at the local and state level. 

True as well is that charity starts at home and when we open back up and look to broaden and expand our now contracted comfort zones back out, look to do so in this state, in MA, to bolster the economy and rebuild for ourselves and our neighbors. Resist the urge to flock back to the states that now shun us, that used us and will continue to do so when convenient, as long as we let them. 

We have the ocean, the Cape and the mountains to the West. We have a multitude of public trail systems right out our door. We have cable TV, high speed internet and cell service as well as overall good hygiene. The RedSox, the Bruins, the Celtics and the Patriots, for what it's worth. To a large degree, we also have the power to choose just how well things go moving forward, if we look and act inward and work to fix the problems this has created right here in our home first, before turning our sights outward.
When the holidays roll around and you are looking for that hand made gift for the person that has everything or for your employees, look to MA craftspeople and artisans for their fine wares. When you go the packie, which for many of us has become the staple outing, go to the MA brewed aisle because we have an abundance of fantastic local choices in a vast variety of styles, not just the over-hopped palate and mind numbing doubles. Of course, we have plenty of those also.
Charity starts at home and for better or worse, MA is our home.

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