Maine is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we, the citizens of Maine, are fortunate enough to live here. Our guests often comment on how friendly everyone is, how helpful. With this, why do we continue to give ourselves such bad press, on an international scale no less? As citizens, we all own this. The problems as well as the solutions.

As business owners in Maine, we have the good fortune to welcome people from all over the world into our inn. Over the course of 10 years, there is one thing that I have learned: We are all more alike than we are different, no matter where you come from.

We all want better for our families, our children, to feel safe, to feel secure, to be happy. And our differences? We like different foods, perhaps enjoy different music or books, have had different experiences in life, have different talents. Thank goodness for these differences, or what would we talk about? And how boring!

Collectively, we should wake up and choose to focus on what we have in common and move forward from there. When differences arise, return to civility and respect, remembering how to talk through what we disagree on.

And as many a wise parent or adult figure has said to all of us at some point in our lives, “If you cannot say something nice, say nothing at all.”

Tori Baron