Darien is a small town, and that is why many choose to remain here or live here. We know our neighbors, our grocery stores, our small store owners and our restaurant staff.

We know our children’s teachers and their friends’ parents. We know our government officials. We know our newspaper staff.

However, even Darien is not exempt from the political and online media vitriol that seems to be the tone of the rest of the state and the country these days.

Despite the lack of contested elections this November, there can still be a tendency to take shots at people either anonymously or by name on social media and in comment sections of news stories. We tell our children not use social media as a way to attack others. As adults we should model that behavior.

Regardless of the difference in ideology, its important to treat one another with respect and not send out attacks. We can just as easily pick up the phone or send an email to talk to one another. Having different or even opposing points of view isn’t a bad thing. It can help us see things from a different perspective and “walk around in someone else’s shoes,” as Atticus Finch once said in To Kill a Mockingbird.

November will come and go, and politics is a losing game. We will always be neighbors as long as we live in Darien, regardless of where we specifically live. Our political or philosophical opponent might be our child’s coach, or be behind us in the grocery store line, or at the table over at our favorite eatery or watering hole.

We don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but let’s remember to treat each other as, at the very least, neighbors.

The town is just too small for us to regard one another as anything else.