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Bridge together what divides us

Corridors, pathways, bridges; The words are all nouns, and ones that evoke something more active than passive.

At the end of the Franklin Street Corridor rests Building Bridges to Careers.

Two roads shooting off the corridor also lead to bridges, the Putnam Bridge which arcs over the Muskingum River into Marietta’s downtown and the Historic Harmar Bridge, now closed a year and under review of a board that’s growing to include residents of the lower west side, business owners, technical experts and those with eyes on the path ahead.

How do you take that step, and then the next, building momentum to be a better neighbor?

Some say build a longer table instead of a higher fence, but hey, most of the time tables in the road don’t make for safe passage either.

However, the spirit of that sentiment holds true.

Step outside, look around, walk where you haven’t before.

Check for what you might not be seeing as you zoom by on the way to coffee, a lunch meeting or afternoon beer.

Coronavirus has taken so much from all of us, I’ve written about the time it’s stolen from my loved ones before now.

But it’s also made us all pause.

A year ago as things shut down, we were asked to stay home to protect our neighbors, our friends and the folks we’d never met.

We have been asked to act on faith.

Now as we eye hope for a revived year, a new decade, can we take that pause and empathy to heart?

Can we put it into practice?

Can we pledge, with our consistent actions and refinement, to be a better neighbor wherever our paths may lead?

Maybe then, we can bridge that which divides us.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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