To help bring our community together in a time of extreme polarization, LebTown has invited a variety of community leaders to share columns this week on the topic of unitedness and healing.

We feel this topic is important to discuss given the unprecedented protest activity we witnessed across the nation last week, as well as the increased stress felt right now by many due to the ongoing public health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you would like to submit your own column to LebTown, please start by reading our guidelines here.

In 2020, Lebanon and all over the country have been going through some rough and unprecedented times.

As someone who grew up here, I know we can overcome this and be a stronger community. During all the chaos, we saw many acts of kindness, people caring for their neighbors and friends and spending more time on the phone or in person with their family. I do think this was a wake-up call for America, and I think it brought some people together and tore others apart. As things pass, we will come together, start having the tough conversations and put plans in motion. We could not stop some of the issues, but now we can address them and overcome them. It’s time we stop caring if you’re black, brown, white, democrat, republican, gay or straight. We are a community, we are neighbors, and we are friends; it’s time we come together and build our community. I’m not naïve and know this will be challenging, but not impossible. I took a look in the mirror, and even though I have friends and family of many cultures and do a lot for my community, I realized that is not enough and I can do more.

We all live busy lives, but we all can take a little time out and give back to our community. If everyone did just a little or a little more, this would be a greater community. I encourage you to volunteer, get active in your church, be part of the discussions and planning or try to do small acts of kindness. You will feel better and you can say you did your part. Yes, we had a rough year of sickness, divide, death and hate but we will make it through it. The question is what have you learned, what can you do and where do I start.

It’s time.

Cornell Wilson is a former Lebanon City Councilperson and a member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Latino Affairs. He is also president of Making a Difference of Lebanon, Pa.


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