Have courage to show concern for neighbors

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

My life in the mountains has instilled in me the nagging need to make sure my neighbor is all right. From watching my parents checking on those living next to us just to “see how they are doing,” to driving out of the way to make sure family made it home when they do not answer the phone, I grew up in an atmosphere of concern for our neighbors.

It becomes more difficult as the years go by. Our own stress and concerns become so large that it seems impossible to allow other people’s stress to enter our lives. It takes a great courage to deeply care for others during these times in our lives. Our nation is hurting. In times like these, it is especially hard not to dismiss your neighbor. So much to lose this way.

Southwest Virginia is a place where neighbors can rely on one another. We can not dismiss anyone as our neighbor. We are stronger and happier as a community when everyone feels like they can lean on that community. People of color, the working class, women, LGBT+ individuals, the impoverished and the disabled in this area are a part of our community and need to lean on us. This year, Virginia specifically will have many choices to make. It takes a great courage to raise your voice, march in the streets, show up, and vote with your neighbor in mind; however, we must live with courage as a matter of habit.

Dylan Mabe.

Big Stone Gap.

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