It's been such rough year for so many people, and such a polarizing year politically, that it's become very easy to assume the worst in other people. Especially people who think differently or have different backgrounds.
I was really grateful for chance the kids and I took earlier this month to go plant bitterbrush saplings in the Boise foothills. If you were here this summer, you'll remember the huge "pyronimbus" clouds of smoke that bubbled up every evening as the fires burned all over the foothills. That destroyed a lot of vegetation that local animals depend on, that help prevent erosion, and that help stop the spread of cheat grass and other invasive grasses.
There was an online posting for volunteers to hike up the foothills and plant sagebrush or bitterbrush plugs along the slopes. And the turnout was so HUGE that they took down the announcements early.
On the day we went, we were with 150 people from all walks of life: Cub scouts, ROTC cadets, wealthy foothill retirees, suburban families, some full-on granola people, and a group of young attractive people that I think were maybe Land's End models or something.
This group was comprised of all different ages, incomes, backgrounds, and persuasions (I'm certain that the ROTC cadets and the retirees would have had very different views of the upcoming presidential election). But none of that mattered. All that mattered were the hundreds of bitterbrush plugs that needed to be planted and watered all along the steep slopes of the foothills.
It was hard, hard work. And everyone worked so very hard and so very well together. I couldn't believe the endurance and dedication everyone showed. It was a sweet reminder to me of how inherently good people are and how much more we all have in common than we sometimes realize.