Most of us are all right. We are downright comfortable, if not more. We have food, shelter, information, conversation and more – the ability to walk and talk freely with people whom we love or admire or at least respect. 

We live in beautiful Evanston on a majestic lake.

We have community centers, parks and public beaches, fine schools, a plethora of faith-based congregations and not-for profit organizations, comprehensive libraries and a world-class university. 

We have resources, neighbors and friends, creative artists and designers, innovative thinkers, passionate advocates and compassionate volunteers. 

Overall, this is a safe, protected and protective community.

Considering those things, we are more than all right.

Evanston right now, however, is far from being harmonious. Although on the surface, this community might seem to be speeding toward livability, we see it toppling from an overload of self-regard.

Our certainty has gone into overdrive.

Conviction cedes its place to divisiveness. The desire to impose solutions replaces the need to craft resolutions.

Issues go begging for compromise, burdened by their supporters’ need to “win,” whatever that really is. 

We all want to be right.

And maybe we are all right, but in the larger picture of what is best for our community, that is irrelevant.

Evanston is facing a lot of thorny issues now, and the best solution to any of them may be not the “best” one in the eyes of a certain group but rather a “good” one that will benefit the greatest number of Evanston residents.

Where to begin? Here’s a start:

How are we going to stretch our resources to provide more than the basic services of public safety, parks and infrastructure?

Can we make Evanston innovative, sustainable, livable and affordable?

What are the proper roles of the gadfly, the loyal opposition and the watchdog?

Collaboration, the willingness to work together for something greater than either side, can be more invigorating and more satisfying than a simple “win.”

Once we recognize we can’t all be right, we will all be closer to being all right.