When you made your way through Sheridan today, you probably overlooked the diversity of the people who live here. It’s easy to do. After all, the majority of the people who live in Sheridan are Caucasian.
But among our population, a vast array of people move through their day-to-day lives and their differences have little to do with how they look. Some lean Republican, others vote Democrat. Some don’t care about the party their candidates claim. Some enjoy the outdoors, some support the arts. Many do both. Some have kids, some are kids. Some have money, and others struggle to survive.
Each person has a unique set of traits, and each adds to the diversity of individuals here. You can tell because we don’t always agree on issues that affect our lives.
Here’s a quick example:
On Wednesday, a local legislator talked through the challenges of the recent legislative session in Cheyenne. The pressures our representatives face from all angles — constituents, colleagues, lobbyists and others — is immense. It must be hard to come out of the process unscathed. No matter what you do, or how you vote, somebody will disagree with you. It must be tough to maintain your own moral compass.
In the same coffee shop on the same morning, two men studied their Bibles. They spoke of the words they read and the beliefs they shared.
Also yesterday, a 9-year-old girl talked about climate change. She discussed steps she and her family take to try and take care of the planet. While some people will likely disagree with her, she spoke her truth. She stepped up to use her voice, a form of the “people power” she hopes individuals use more of each day.
It’s true that Sheridan could use more cultural diversity; it’s a criticism often said in jest, with a chuckle when visitors and locals discuss the issue.
I don’t pretend to disagree that the lessons more diversity can impart cannot be replaced by books or visiting performers. But as I make my way through our county, I’ve noticed and appreciated more and more the diversity of thought that exists right here.