I looked directly into her eyes as she spoke.
“We’ve noticed a huge change in people since we moved here four years ago,” Tracy DiNardo said. “When we came here, we really loved how friendly the people were. But, things have change dramatically. I guess they just feel really stressed about all of the new people.”
Tracy and Tome DiNardo came here so their kids could work to be part of the United States Speed Skating team. I’ve marveled at how their kids have grown over that short time. I say kids, but they’re more than kids now. They’re young adults. I’ve enjoyed watching them at the Utah Olympic Oval from time to time.
One time, during a World Cup Event, I sat in the stands with hundreds of others watching the best skaters from throughout the world. It was a great time for me to admire the skills and talent of the skaters. It was also a good time for me to sit and listen to what others were saying about our community. As I listened, one idea struck me over and over again.
People are moving here now for the same reasons people used to laugh at us more than 20 years ago. I used to sit on airplanes, headed back home from working out of state, when someone would make a common statement as we began our descent into Salt Lake International.
“Get ready to turn your clocks back 20 years,” someone would quip.
Now, people like Tracy and Tom DiNardo come here because they are looking for a healthy environment in which to raise great kids. It’s just like my friends Michael and Jay Dee Crouse once said to me, “The teenagers here are so respectful and good! They’re much different than those where we’ve lived before. We’ll never move again!”
As Tracy talked, I listened. As she spoke, questions came to my mind. Have we changed? Do we welcome the people who’ve come to join with us because of the community we’ve built, because of who we are? I pondered these important questions again as I read one of my favorite local authors, relationship expert and life coach Kimberly Giles.
She gave all of us great advice as she responded to a question asked by a hurting mother who had been treated unkindly, by longtime residents, upon her family’s recent move here.
“You can be angry, bitter, resentful and unkind back, or you can take the high road and demonstrate your beliefs better than they have theirs. Our advice would be to take the high road and treat them with kindness and love anyway. Do this, not because they deserve it, but because it’s the kind of person you want to be.”
What kind of people do you and I really want to be?
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.