We’ve all had a lot on our minds this year - a global pandemic, an economic downturn and high unemployment, a presidential election, and heightened awareness of racial and social injustice - to name just a few issues. Because of these concerns, medical experts are telling us that Americans are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, which can be exacerbated by isolation and quarantining. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many of us. We are definitely living through a stressful time. Unfortunately, the stress and anxiety that many are feeling can sometimes manifest itself in negative ways.
Like other towns throughout the country, Randolph is affected by all of these issues. In fact, some residents have shared with me recent experiences that have caused them distress. They have been made to feel unwelcome because of their ethnicity or skin color or because of causes they support or political views they hold. Some have had signs that they placed in their yards indicating their support for certain issues or candidates defaced or taken, presumably by people who disagreed with the sentiments expressed on those signs. Tempers are also flaring on social media sites and there seems to be a growing intolerance for different opinions.
Our nation appears to be deeply divided on many issues right now. Admittedly, most of us have strong opinions on many issues and as Americans we proudly treasure our right to free speech and expression. As a town, though, we strive to be a welcoming community - a great place to live. The Township Council has always supported and encouraged universal respect for all people and we continue to do so. I encourage everyone to celebrate the diversity in our community and not just tolerate, but truly accept and respect each other. Together we can make Randolph an even better place to live.
November and December are marked by many religious and cultural holidays including among others Diwali, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. These holidays offer a time to reflect on our similarities and what unites us as a community. I wish everyone the best during this upcoming holiday season.
Mayor Chris Carey