BY JAMES WERNICKE
Unity Day in Los Alamos Public Schools is meant to foster awareness about the damaging effects of bullying and discrimination. It is a day when our community should be coming together to teach our children valuable lessons about tolerance, empathy, and understanding. As responsible adults, we cannot ignore the tumultuous events unfolding on the global, national, and local stages, and how our actions set a precedent for the next generation.
The ongoing conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine are reminders of the devastating consequences of division. The cycle of violence seems never-ending, with innocent civilians on both sides paying the price for the actions of a few. As adults, we must emphasize the importance of peaceful negotiations and dialogue, rather than engaging in cycles of vengeance. It’s crucial that we teach our children to seek peaceful resolutions and take time to understand the complex issues at play, rather than perpetuating hostilities through inflammatory rhetoric.
Closer to home, the divisive nature of national politics is on full display. Congress’s inability to pass a budget resolution showcases the gridlock that occurs when ideological differences take precedence over the needs of the nation. It is essential that we convey to our children the importance of compromise, constructive dialogue, and putting the greater good ahead of political agendas.
Even at the local level in Los Alamos, we see the mismanagement of issues like diversity and inclusion. When these topics are weaponized for political gain, it only serves to deepen the divides in our community. Instead of seeking to understand each other’s perspectives and working toward a truly inclusive society, we often find ourselves in opposition. This example is not the one we should be setting for our children on Unity Day.
Let’s remember that our actions speak louder than words. We must lead by example, teaching our children the values of empathy, tolerance, and open-mindedness. We should encourage them to engage in respectful discussions, to listen actively to different viewpoints, and to seek common ground. As adults in Los Alamos, we have the responsibility to demonstrate that conflicts can be resolved through diplomacy, that political differences can be bridged through compromise, and that unity can be achieved through understanding and empathy. Let’s set a positive example for our children on Unity Day – and every day that follows – so they can inherit a world where cooperation triumphs over division.