We are impressed.
As of the press time, we have had 21 people sign up for the Smithers Talks event happening Nov. 12 at the town hall and we anticipate there will be more by the time the event rolls around.
When Madeleine Ghatavi approached The Interior News last summer with the idea of bringing together people of opposing political views to have conversations, we didn’t know what to expect.
But we did want to be part of it.
The Smithers Talks project is based on the My Country Talks concept, which was initiated by the German newspaper ZEIT ONLINE to try to heal some of the political divisions in that European country.
Madeleine was concerned by the division she saw brewing in Smithers over the past couple of years and wanted to do something to promote some healing.
It is encouraging that so many people wanted to sign up and have discussions with others they do not see eye to eye with.
It is perhaps especially important at this time of year when we honour all of the people who have served this country to try to appreciate that we have much more in common than what divides us.
Fostering this kind of dialogue is yet another way of honouring the sacrifices so many people have made that make it possible for us to enjoy the kind of freedom and lifestyle available in Canada.
While we may differ on the details, fundamentally we all want the same things.
Without the personal connection, though, without the opportunity to walk in another person’s shoes and see what they see and where they are coming from, it is easy to lose sight of that.
We very much hope that the gathering on Saturday will foster some goodwill and healing among the participants.
But, moreover, we hope it will spill over into the broader community.