I am a lifelong Mainer, three generations. Although my opinions differ from those of Sen. Susan Collins, I just sent her a “thank you” message through her office website.

She listened to us, and was one of two Republican senators who voted against Betsy DeVos for education secretary. That was a tough decision.

Sen. Collins may take positions that we disagree with at times. Sometimes we need to just say, “Thank you for your hard work and a job well done.”

Let’s all support a civil society, which means just being kind or at least civil to others. Smile sometimes even if you don’t feel like it. Hold the door for someone, let someone into traffic, feel some goodness among all of us.

We know Maine as a kind place where these common acts of goodness are the way we live. Here, neighbors not only help each other but also are civil to each other and help each other. Not perfect, but getting there.

I urge you to say “thank you” to people because it brightens up their day. It makes you feel good. You may smile, then you will see someone else smile. It is the most fun that you will have all day.

Sen. Collins is one of the faces of Maine, and we think that she does a darned good job even though we may differ in opinions. It’s a free country, after all.

In the difficult days ahead, Senator, where you might face loud opposition, where we might disagree with you: “To Sen. Susan Collins, our friend and neighbor: Just a ‘thank you’ from your friends in Maine.”

Diana Bell