Rustbelt cities are being slowly reinvigorated. In this particular city, you can thank the arts and the artists for some of the movement.
First Fridays have laid claim to the down town. The Arts Center presents a constant (diverse) bill of interesting artists. And there are great restaurants.
There are still problems — more than they need. But there are changes and signs of hope.
Here’s to cities’ coming back! Here’s to the Peace of living in a place that works!
Things are not always what they seem. Even the most beautiful things often have their roots in the ugly. What is on the outside is sometimes carefully manicured and monitored so that what roils below isn’t visible.
My valley, and probably your valley too, is having awful heroin problems. 15 deaths in the region this year. We rank high in child abuse and spousal abuse. Some of our schools are model schools and some of them have among the lowest graduation rates in the states. Joblessness is high. Once thriving cities in this beautiful valley are rust-belt shadows.
And bad things happen in beautiful houses as well as in tenements.
And yet the sun sets on beauty. And beautiful things happen as well.
What matters is that we don’t let the beauty be all we see. Peace needs to confront the unpleasant. This needs to happen so that the people may live and the land might thrive.
We need to take a hard look at our beautiful world and roll up our sleeves. Peace gets built from the ugliness, from a longing for the beauty, but it must be built on Truth. May we Peace, today and every day. Truth matters. Peace matters. Every day.