LETTER: CCHS Senior and First-Time Voter Disappointed by Negativity
Laws Brook Road resident Peter Bailey Wells writes that, 'Negativity rarely results in a positive result. Please do not allow our town’s dialogue to be dominated by negativity.'
To the Editor,
I have lived in Concord all of my life. I am a soon-to-graduate senior at CCHS who also happens to have just turned 18. I am planning to vote in the March 19th election that includes a choice of four different citizens for two spots on the school committee. I am not writing to endorse or discredit any candidate. Frankly, I am entirely undecided. I am writing to provoke a series of questions in the minds of all parents and community members of Concord who have had a hand in the discourse surrounding this election.
What are you thinking about when you write semi-anonymous offensive or derogatory comments to someone else on an Internet comment thread? (Such as the ones found following Janet Friedman’s letter to the editor.) Would you have the guts to say such things in public, face-to-face?
Would you like your children to think that the democratic process involves personal insults and the kind of negativity that has been demonstrated during these last few weeks? We ridicule and criticize politicians in Washington for their inability to move past demeaning behavior and produce positive results. Are we really no better than those in Congress whom we disparage for their divisiveness?
I was privileged enough to speak in front of the school committee a couple of weeks ago, as the President of Concord Carlisle Weather Services, the weather club at CCHS. We were there to thank the school committee for what they had done to enable our group to send representatives to the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Austin, TX this January. We talked for about 15 minutes about the wonderful experience we had, and then fielded a series of questions from members of the school committee including Mr. Benincasa, Mr. Fondriest, and Superintendent Rigby. It was warm, welcoming, inviting and all the members of the committee gave off a very great sense of pride in what we had accomplished. They were united (regardless of political position) because of what students had accomplished.
There might be cynics who will read this and claim that I have no worldview beyond the cozy confines of Concord. And they are right. As I said, I have never lived anywhere besides 01742, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the unique opportunities that I have been given here.
I implore those cynics to consider this Bobby Kennedy quote:
“We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.”
Negativity rarely results in a positive result. Please do not allow our town’s dialogue to be dominated by negativity.
368 Laws Brook Road