Estes Park News, July 16, 2021

Page 22

22 » Friday, July 16, 2021

“THERE’S SO MUCH GOOD IN THE WORST OF US…” Perhaps you’ve heard the saying before. I hope so, because it holds a powerful message for us. “There’s so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us!” No one really knows who coined this phrase. Robert Louis Stephenson, John Bannington, Edgar Cayce, and others, have been credited with its creation, but no one is sure. What we do know, is that it contains a great deal of truth. No matter how atrocious some actions of a person might be, there is always someone who will say something good about them, often a parent, or an individual close to them who knew them best. At the same time, “there’s so much bad in the best of us”. If we will only stop to honestly analyze ourselves, all would admit that their attitudes, their thoughts, and their actions, all fall short of perfection. We usually would like to disregard that fact, choosing rather to…in the words of Paul in the Bible… “Think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think.” Jesus alluded to that when He talked about men with ‘planks in their eyes’ criticizing people who had only ‘specks’ in theirs. With those in mind, the conclusion of that saying makes sense: “It ill behooves any of us to talk (ie. negatively) about the rest of us.” But, we do, don’t we? We talk very negatively about those that are different from us. Our nation is in turmoil right now…and has been for a long time…because of that! How can we begin to turn that around? In a recent Denver Post editorial Nicolas Kristof gave us a good suggestion. He said: “If you want to change minds…listen!” He goes on to share about a Black musician, Daryl Davis, who set about to ‘change minds’ and has seen over 200 white supremacists who were active Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis, abandon their beliefs and renounce their bigotry. His secret? Listening to them, conducting dialogue with them and gently reasoning with them. He demonstrates that talking face-to-face with ideological opponents can lead them to rethink their views. His success shows that, as psychological studies have verified, “Interacting face-to-face with an out-group reduced prejudice 94% of the time”. Contrast that with a more common impulse…chosen by many…to decry from a distance, without trying to understand. I was glad for this help, especially since it arrived just as I was doing some background work for my son who is soon to teach a class of teens at a Christian youth camp in Nebraska. When he told me he wanted to help the teens explore ‘Racism’ and other harmful attitudes toward those who ‘are different’ in their cultures or practices, I was skeptical. But, now, I realize just how needed this type of study is, not only for teens at church camp, but for all of us who might tend to be critical or judgmental toward those who differ in some way. I certainly have to admit that I have a long way to go in reaching out and ‘listening’ to those who are or believe differently from me. So I was glad for this opportunity to ‘examine myself’ and make some commitments to do better. How far do people go in this lack of understanding of others and Jesus’ attitude toward them? Perhaps you read a bit on Facebook recently by a women who claimed, in essence, that ‘Jesus was white, His disciples were white, He never taught or healed anyone of other nationalities, etc. etc’. She was quickly hammered by criticisms that showed she was wrong on all counts, that, Jesus, like God, “is no respecter of persons” and that “In every nation those who fear Him and do what is right are accepted of Him.” (Acts 10:35) It’s high time that we learn to imitate our Father in His acceptance of people of all races and cultures, while, in doing so, encouraging them to “fear Him” and “do what is right”, so they can have endless acceptance by Him, both now and eternally. Please join me in this quest! Bob Lewis

Board Member Spotlight: Miguel Bernal Miguel Bernal is one of the scores of local volunteer board members. Over 70 nonprofit organizations in Estes Park rely on the time and talents of community members like Miguel who serve our community. EPNRC is hosting a Nonprofit Governance Board Training series in August and September for those who serve (or might be interested in serving) on boards. This series is built to help board members understand their roles and responsibilities to ensure they are prepared to knowledgeably guide nonprofits.

By: Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center

Volunteer board members guide the important efforts of our local nonprofit organizations. Miguel Bernal is the Guest Services Supervisor at the Estes Valley Community Center. You may have seen him behind the desk, greeting people and helping us all figure out how to best take advantage of our Rec Center. When he is not working, he is also a Board Member of the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center (EPNRC). Being a board member has shown him, “how a community can come together to make a difference. It has also helped me develop my own leadership and it is helping me grow as a person and with my future career. The EPNRC has provided me the opportunity to influence and connect with many organizations around town. I wish to inspire other Hispanic and Latino members of Estes Park to share their bilingual skills, to join and help reach out to minorities that have been in the background for years.” Miguel grew up in a small town in Mexico State called Villa Guerrero. He came to Estes Park in 2004 with his family. He says, "I was fortunate enough to attend the Estes Park Middle and High School in this beautiful mountain town." He completed his Associate Degree in Political Science at the Community College of Denver and finished his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, in 2018. Bernal and many other dedicated nonprofit board members guide over 70 nonprofits in service to Estes Park. EPNRC believes it is important to support

board members in understanding their roles and responsibilities to ensure they are prepared to knowledgeably guide nonprofits. Nonprofit Governance Board Training is a six-part series that covers the nuts and bolts of board service: How to Maintain a Strategic Focus, How to Provide Financial Oversight, and How to Govern Through Effective Policy are just a few of the topics. EPNRC encourages you to join other invested community leaders by putting your passion into action as a nonprofit board member. We are here to help connect you to organizations seeking board members and we'll make sure you have all you need to lead with assurance. Learn more and register for the Board Governance series online: EPNRC provides a list of nonprofits in and in-service to the Estes Valley on our website. To see a comprehensive list of these organizations and their missions, visit EPNRC continues to celebrate board members through the month of July. If you have a board member (or colleague) you would like to spotlight, please email He disfrutado ser Miembro de la Junta Directiva del Centro de Recursos Sin Fines de Lucro de Estes Park (EPNRC) porque me ha mostrado cómo una comunidad puede unirse para marcar y hacer diferencia. También me ha ayudado a desarrollar mi propio liderazgo y me está ayudando a establecer un crecimiento como persona y con mi futura carrera. El EPNRC me ha brindado la oportunidad de influir y conectarme con muchas organizaciones de la ciudad a las que aspiro para inspirar a otros miembros hispanos y latinos de Estes Park a compartir sus habilidades bilingües para unirse y ayudar a llegar a las minorías que han estado en la sombra durante años.

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