Starting and stopping is always hard. Each sentence is like its own new beginning, so going from one thought to another can be a challenge when trying to string them together. In the not so metaphorical sense regarding our current society, anyone would get whiplash just thinking about everything going on. We all know while we have all been dealing with this pandemic it has strained each of us in our own ways, each hardship as valid as the next. Yet while the country is slowly opening again, it is easy to agree that nothing feels the same as it was. We have lost many during this time, whether it was due to the virus, means of excessive force, or from something completely different; while we have lost many, the rest of us are still here despite that fact, so let’s make it count for something. Considering the state of affairs within society between the aftermath of the virus, the protests, the riots, and so forth, how should society move forward in a positive manner?

What should we do when faced with adversity? Faced with a forced sense of division? Colorado local, Dylan Rogers, weighed in saying, “We have to learn to set our differences aside and see the bigger picture. We are all in this together, regardless of our background. We are all climbing the same mountain, and in the end, it does not matter how we got to the top, only that we did—and that we stopped to carry those who could not do it on their own along the way.”

Let’s say we are all on this mountain together, like in Dylan’s analogy. The issues we are facing now—like the virus—are a blizzard designed to take your attention away from the issues that matter, distracting us from our goal. During this time, with every minute that passes we are etching the history that we will look back on with either contempt or elation. Which will you experience?

Another individual who requested to stay anonymous has quite a positive outlook on the matter. “This pandemic and the protests will bring the people of the world back to positive systemic change.” While respecting this individual’s right to privacy I just want to say thank you for your time.

What about our single parents? What about our students? We are all faced with opposition during this time, but one can only imagine the strain they [students and single parents] are faced with during this time. Taylor Fitzpatrick, single father and aspiring medical student, while taking care of his little boy, Adrian, took the time to explain his point of view on the subject as well. “People need to come together and sort things out, work out issues in the system, and be met with an open mind.”

As part of this piece I conducted a quick study on Facebook. To help with this I recruited Sparkle Lindsay, local recovery coach through Springs Recovery Connection, and sobriety advocate. The prompt being as follows, and was stated earlier in this piece: “Considering the state of affairs within society between the aftermath of the virus, the protests, the riots, and so forth, how should society move forward in a positive manner?” Sparkle took time to respond to this subject, saying, “We should move forward by rising up as a nation and walking side by side with one another. We first must acknowledge what is happening, validate what is happening, and the options available to move forward, and last but not least, find compassion for ourselves and each other. Attacking the facts one step at a time, through patience and hope, can help us grow immensely, and help us be mindful of others and our surroundings.”

From within the sober society of Colorado, Chassity Lemuel and Sasha Ware, both took the time to respond to the Facebook study, saying, “Education is key, don’t judge, but instead teach! If people don’t understand, don’t get angry, explain. Our voice is one of our biggest weapons right now, and we need to use it! Empathy and compassion are big right now as well,” said Chassity.

“To implement change, start with ourselves and how we view others, but also, in our communities. Being open-minded to change and education is key. Simply having new views on code of ethics and diversity inclusion for businesses and no tolerance for discrimination on any level, and if violated taken very seriously. Lastly, the USA living by the national anthem, we must live by those words. Also, acceptance of each other and effort from everyone. We all must fight together for change,” said Sasha.

We are seeing a common thread among our locals: we are in this together, and only we can fix what is wrong with the system, but we have to do it together. While it is a loaded question and a complicated answer as to whether rioting is morally correct, it is important to stand and voice what one believes in, especially if it is a matter that affects society. To quote a song by Shinedown, specifically Atlas Falls: “If Atlas Falls, I will rise up and carry us all the way.” Well, Atlas has taken one hell of a hit as of late, and it is up to us to prop society back up and build for a better future, not as individuals, but as a whole.


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Cailean has lived in Colorado his entire life, a 22 year old young man located in the heart of Colorado Springs. He has worked as a freelance writer for clients around the United States, and took the initiative to get first hand experience “behind the scenes” of the culinary industry here in Colorado; at the age of 5 he was reading college level books, and had already begun writing his own stories. In his free time he can be found exploring the state of Colorado, playing music with friends, or continuing to gather knowledge of the local culinary industry, it can be mentioned by his friends and family that he never really stops working- his mind always goes back to the same thing: stories. There are so many stories around Colorado that he wants to bring right to your fingertips.