“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”
Many of us are familiar with these words from the Tale of Two Cities. I’m unaware of any other well-known statement that represents conflicted thinking like this statement does. Conflict is part of many relationships in today’s world. The war in Ukraine represents severe conflict, whereas disagreeing about where to go for dinner is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Because people’s values, perceptions and desires differ, we all may face conflict at some point in life. In today’s world conflicts seem to escalate more than in the past.
In North Ogden we experience conflict including but not limited to growth, density, the type of businesses citizens desire, and how the city’s budget is funded and expended. As I have previously indicated, I appreciate differing opinions, and yet, it is important to avoid escalating conflict. So, how can we work together to realize the constructive value of these differing sentiments?
Improved communication may be one way to minimize conflict. Open and direct discussions with city staff and elected officials may be something worth considering. Direct communication provides an opportunity to generate solutions to various opportunities. As part of this suggestion, it may be worthwhile to remember, “First seek to understand and then to be understood.” Attending city council meetings or arranging an appointment with city staff and elected officials are ways to engage in direct communication. By the way, I’m not sure using Facebook falls into the definition of direct communication.
I recognize communication is a two-way street that we can all improve, and city staff and council are committed to such improvement.
Recently, the city was encouraged to increase communication regarding new businesses opening in the city. As a result of this request, a new process has been implemented to increase communication in this area. We are seeing increased interest in businesses wanting to locate in North Ogden, and we welcome North Ogden Yogurt Company and Crumbl Cookies as new members of our community. I apologize if I’ve missed welcoming your business to North Ogden.
So, as you think about the statement from Charles Dickens, and if you are feeling conflicted, consider that we are in the best of times, we are in the age of wisdom, we are in the season of light, we have everything before us, and we are in a spring of hope! Attitude has a lot to do with outcomes, and seeking good outcomes will keep North Ogden a great place to live.
Mayor Neal Berube