We see a lot of what you guys are saying.
We read Facebook comments on community group pages.
You tag us in photos.
You stop us on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
We attend meetings and markets and festivals.
You send us messages and emails. You comment and you share your thoughts.
This is Travelers Rest. We eat here. We shop here. We do business here.
You ask us daily to suggest the best realtor, the right neighborhood, when does the parade begin, can I bring my dog to the Farmer’s Market, where can my family sleep when they come to visit next weekend.
I’m sure we miss a few questions and comments. We’re still a very small team.
But we see a lot.
And lately, we see a lot of talk. Online talk.
Negative comments. Berating conversations. Smart Alec comebacks.
About who’s in charge and who isn’t.
We listen. We share.
And we’ve decided to use our platform here to speak to some of this.
No, this isn’t a conversation.
It’s a monologue, naturally.
These are our own thoughts.
This is just a post on a website, after all.
But we have a voice.
And we know y’all are listening. (And we’re wildly thankful for that.)
We’ve sat in the new seats at City Council.
These people are not just elected officials.
They are men and women. They are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. They have a momma and a daddy. They are our co-workers and they are our friends.
We’ve watched them field increasingly complicated questions.
We’ve shared good conversations, sweet tea and pimento cheese sandwiches together. We’ve met their children or their parents, their students and their spouses. You have too.
When you find yourself online, responding to a Facebook thread, maybe you feel brave. Maybe you feel angry. Maybe you feel empowered. Maybe you feel emboldened. Maybe all of the above.
But please, never forget, you are not typing words into an empty space.
You are communicating with a real person.
A mom, a brother, a boss. Somebody loves that person just like somebody loves you.
This is still a small town, despite all the growth.
We all know who owns the bakery and the ice cream shop, who serves us crepes and who repairs our flat tires. Denise cashes our checks and Adam orders the coffee. Brittani cuts hair and Katie serves up the tacos.
We are friends. We are neighbors. We need one another.
Can’t we say to our children, “Watch. This is how adults handle conflict. This is how grown ups talk to one another. This is how adults behave.”
If we can’t be kind first of all, then what can we get right?
We really all are TR.
This is where it begins.