In our house we have a set of wooden blocks that look like this
and all our children love building them up and knocking them down. They use them to build castles, cities, race tracks, as many different things as their young imaginations can create. As a parent I enjoy watching their minds use these simple things to build, but as an adult I sometimes get wrapped up in the multitude of other things happening in life that I don’t see the blocks until I have kicked or stepped on them. The later happens most often late at night when I am really tired and there is one or two that were not picked up. Of course during those occasions I am always barefoot and the discomfort…if you have done it then you know.
Today I gathered with some community leaders to talk about our Counties’ desire and need to improve our overall health. There were multiple conversations happening, but my group focused on economics, education, and income. In our conversation it became clear that we are aware of much of the data that describes our community. We heard and retold the stories of the many challenges that we face in addressing this crucial issue. Then came a moment in our discussion when we stepped on the on the wooden building blocks of our community.
These blocks are all the positive things that are happening in our community, but that we overlook them in the midst of our tackling the problem areas. We have a community that loves the arts, our farmers market, farm to table establishments, biking and running, an active public library that offers a multitude of free activities, and two colleges that are invested in this community just to name a few. These are here, have been present, but sometimes we forget to notice them. Sometimes when we create or seek to revitalize a community we think that we have to start from nothing. That feels like it is true, but it is rarely ever true. Every place, community, home has something to work with in order to build a new future. It is never easy, but the hard work of reform/renewal/revitalization is necessary and can be done.
I find this to be true in all areas of life. Do you need a fresh start? What blocks are on the floor in front of you that you had forgotten about until you stepped on them? How can you use them creatively to generate moment towards achieving your goals of renewal?