This past year has been full of reasons to be anxious in Squamish — numerous tragic accidents, rapid growth, financial woes, homelessness, employment challenges, and the environment are just a few real and pressing problems here.
Not to mention fears about what is going on down south, back east and abroad.
But lost in all the worry is how much good is all around us.
We saw it on Saturday as hundreds lined the streets to watch and about 100 more took part — including a delegation from The Chief — in the Squamish Santa Claus Parade: a show of community unparalleled in many towns near or far.
It was simply awesome.
We saw it at The Chief’s Reader’s Choice Awards honouring the best of Squamish with dozens of unique small and medium local entrepreneurs beating the odds and making a positive impact on their customers to the point those shoppers and clients claim they are tops in town.
There are other local businesses quietly doing good work, without the fanfare, such as Westcoast Outbuildings, which is pairing with First Nations to bring affordable housing to reserves. And there are others such as Nesters, which consistently gives to Squamish groups big and small without asking for recognition.
So many Squamish businesses aren’t just here to make a profit but aim to give back and be positive corporate citizens.
We saw that again at the District’s hiring panel last week where business owners brainstormed and shared ideas about how to be better employers so that workers will come and stay at our shops, eateries and attractions.
We see it in work being done to solve some our most daunting problems from the Squamish Helpings Hands Under One Roof project and Squamish hospice breaking ground — offering hope for those struggling and at the end of life — to the Mamquam River Campground doing its small part to make van life easier on everyone.
The good in our community can be seen in the umpteen community craft fairs that showcase the deep pool of talented crafters and artisans in our midst.
And the good is on display with the bevy of performers and entertainers who sing, dance and act for us throughout the year.
It is on display with the myriad of local volunteers organizations and charities that work to give back — like Community Christmas Care.
Even those we love to bemoan — our local politicians and developers — give us hope: from a fresh-faced council that seems earnest in its desire to make thoughtful and informed decisions, to the Squamish Nation council, which despite its detractors, is breaking new ground with its power and influence.
That bodes well for us all.
As for those developers, it is easy to forget that behind the giant drills, trucks and quickly erected walls are people — several who live here and give back with their time and money.
We must tackle our problems, no doubt, but it is empowering to stop and see all the things that make this town so worth fighting for.
Editor's note: The weekly editorial represents the official opinion of the newspaper.