Stay cool this Summer Both physically and mentally

Stay cool this Summer Both physically and mentally

It’s July, and the summer heat is upon us. As the temperature rises, so do our frustrations. You might find yourself seeking refuge in a swimming pool or a public fountain, just as your kids might be begging for the same. When people are hot, they tend to get irritated more easily, and tensions can quickly escalate into conflicts.

This year, we have plenty of reasons to feel angry. With a significant election approaching in November, many of us are likely feeling frustrated with various political figures, regardless of who we support. These feelings of anger are not just limited to national politics; local and personal issues can provoke similar reactions. When we disagree with someone or feel wronged, it’s easy to let anger drive us into a confrontational stance.

As a leader, I recognize how easy it is to fall into this cycle of frustration and opposition. However, I’ve learned that this approach is rarely productive. Developing a series of rivals does not help in achieving meaningful progress. Instead, I try to break this cycle by starting with active listening, aiming to understand the interests and perspectives of those I disagree with. By identifying opportunities for common ground, we can work together to co-create solutions to our shared problems.

I am particularly grateful for the efforts of our City Government in mitigating some of the common tensions within our community. The Center for Mediation and Dialogue in Beaverton plays a crucial role in this regard. They provide community mediation between neighbors, restorative dialogue between juvenile offenders and crime victims, and workshops to empower other Beaverton residents to act as peacekeepers in their neighborhoods.

Ultimately, keeping the peace is a collective responsibility. Each of us can contribute by striving to understand those we disagree with and seeking constructive solutions. So this summer, as the temperatures soar, let’s all try to stay cool—both physically and emotionally.

 

Lacey Beaty was elected Mayor of Beaverton in 2020. Prior to serving as Mayor, she served for six years on the Beaverton City Council.