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Diversity is our strength

 
October 21, 2022

Boundary County's strength as a community has always been our ability to work together. Perhaps our relative isolation at the top of the state encouraged this self-reliance. Whatever the reason, it's true that diverse groups, with various and often conflicting points of view, have continually found ways to pitch in and work side by side. County residents sometimes knocked heads with townies, newcomers, from Dust Bowlers of the late 1930s to the Mennonites and back-to-the-landers more recently, initially struggled to find their place, but soon began to contribute and thus gain acceptance as active community members.

But joining was the key. Sincere contribution strengthened the already existing community. At the same time, a willingness on the part of those newcomers to become part of this healthy township made it easy for locals to make room for recent arrivals. Ties to Boundary County's vibrant social exchange grew through active participation in a long list of both formal and informal: support for our public schools and their sports, as well as for our award-winning library. Then there's the local hospital and the Restorium, as well as extra curricular activities like slow pitch softball or the filling of the 500 seat old high school auditorium for Community Theater productions, Community Orchestra performances and the combined voices of 40 people from all walks of life singing as one with the Community Choir.

Friendly rivalries occurred naturally, but never with the intent of pulling things apart at the seams.

This is what keeps a community healthy, volunteers working side by side; farmers and loggers, lawyers and doctors, midwives and teachers, business owners, laborers, volunteer firefighters and dedicated EMTs.

This is old school, small-town America, acknowledging our differences while encouraging inclusivity, individuals contributing to the whole with integrity, showing tolerance in the face of disagreement, taking pride in Idaho values like honesty, neighborliness and the developing of positive reputations through hard work and open compassion.
Paul Rawlings
Bonners Ferry

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