Dear neighbors,

We live in one of the most civil, joyful and beautiful places in the world. Wonderful interactions with friends and neighbors, even civil servants (!) occur every day in our valley, and everyday nature inspires us with sublime beauty and power.

So, why is this letter column so negative, so angry? I urge you to stop ranting and ventilating in the letters’ section of the local newspaper. Instead, consider writing about how great your life is here. You are not changing anyone’s minds. Don’t shout at your neighbors in the newspaper. Talk to them, try to persuade them, and respect and empathize about differences. Let Bozeman be a model of civility in a time of rancor.

Elliot Justin