Plans to reopen the BAC

To the Editor:

A new season is in the air with the beginning of Fall. It’s also a new beginning of sorts for the Beaverton Activity Center (BAC), with planning underway for a reopening of the facility as allowed by State Government and following State mandates, our nearly five-year-old facility will once again reopen portions of activities to the community.

We’ve received many questions about the reopening plan, so I wanted to share with you the fact that the great group of all volunteers are actively engaged in the difficult planning necessary to figure out the number of details involved in a reopening plan. Believe me, there are many issues to resolve and it’s not just as easy as ‘the State said gyms could reopen’ so let’s open the doors. Some elements are far easier to reengage than others.

First and foremost, we’re a volunteer organization of varying ages. That means that some of the most vulnerable population serve in a role of volunteerism and members using our facilities. And, because we have State guidelines that we must follow, we hope to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone; our volunteers, guests, staff, and community.

While we are working on reopening plans and asking our volunteers to reengage, I’m also mindful that we have some who will not be returning because of their medical conditions. We want each of you to know that we are prayerfully thinking of you. I often think of my own situation when things don’t go my way, or I think that something is ‘bad.’ Then I reflect on the condition of a neighbor or friend who may want to engage but are unable due to poor medical conditions and it gives me real perspective on life and any situation.

I guess that’s how I’ll close. Perspective. We often lose track of it in this time when we all have differing views on, many matters. Let’s be mindful that we’re all in this together and despite our feelings on any given issue, please put it into perspective. Hold tightly to your beliefs, but understand that others also have their set of values and that we all need to put things into perspective. We live in one very small corner of the earth containing billions of people. Let’s keep our corner as one of the last where we can come together for the common good of the community as a whole, and remember it can always be worse.  

I ended each of my recent Fireplace Talks shows with this: “Until next time, hug someone, tell someone that you love them and remember that you live in the greatest nation on earth. There’s already far, far too much negativity out there. Don’t be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution. If you can’t say something positive, why say anything at all. God is good and God bless each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Scott Govitz,

President

Beaverton Activity Center

Board of Directors

 

Losing our way

To the Editor:

The Editor’s Inbox has become a pulpit for reinvigorating the “don’t tread on me” mantra. “This is a free country” is part of the American lexicon. “I will say what I want to say and do what I want to do” is a sentiment that is accepted and even celebrated. Our conversations have become exponentially complicated when points of view clash with one another. We’re adults. We can find common ground, and agree to disagree, can’t we? 

When it comes to politics, you may strongly disagree with your spouse, your best friend, and your neighbor. Because of our ingrained biases, it’s difficult for us to understand why other people don’t agree with us. We don’t understand those people and our anger gives us a sense of control over other negative emotions. 

Our country is divided, but we don’t have to let politics destroy our relationships. Jeanne Safer, PhD., and author of “I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics: How to Protect Your Intimate Relationships in a Poisonous Partisan World” outlines a strategy for talking to people you disagree with politically. Be curious. Ask questions as to why this person has this position rather than assuming it’s because of some character flaw or some difference in values. On hot button issues, look at the problem as the problem rather than the person you disagree with as the problem. Learn how to not push people’s buttons. If you’re willing not to be right, then you’ve got a better chance of being respectful. Don’t have a political fight with anybody in person or online. Eliminate us versus them thinking.

Despite presenting a logical opinion and reliable resources, the person you are arguing with may refuse to change their position and may discount your opinion and defend theirs. The mind only wants to take on information that confirms its belief. Anything that challenges the belief that we have feels like it’s changing our survival. 

The reality is that you’re not going to change a mind that has been made up. Although you can’t change another person’s opinion, you can make a difference toward altering the tone of political discourse by listening and by remembering that the other person is a human being. If we forget that, it’s very easy to get into conflict. 

Anger triggers a fight or flight response that floods the body with stress hormones. The political news is toxic. Take breaks from the news. Make a daily effort not to raise your voice. Exercise daily to help discourage stress hormones. The future is grim if we refuse to reach across divides to understand one another. 

“We’ll lose the American way, we’ll lose the fact that our country is made great by its diversity,” Safer says. The clear and present danger of not recognizing that everyone’s perspective matters is that we can lose who we are. 

Linda Cabose

Beaverton

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