This post will be a part of a local effort from author and change agent Danny Heggen that is worth your attention, but I share it here as an example of how misguided passion, particularly from leaders, can lead to potential division.
It’s so fun and rewarding to be a part of Des Moines these days. There is such a surge in people working together, improving the world around them. No aspiration is too grand, and no impact too mundane. It all matters.
There is a pair of dichotomies that seems to hamper connection sometimes, though:
Downtowners seem reluctant to go west of 63rd, and suburbanites find it more convenient to stay west of the mixmaster. At times, some folks seem to take pride in that.
Also, sometimes it seems that there are those who insist that buying local and independent is the only way to go.
I propose that those are false dichotomies.
Paul Rottenberg has pointed out the value of small independent businesses coexisting with chains in order to fully develop an area and attract all people.
A person can take part in Team Trivia at the DMSC, AND enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s.
A person can be a loyal Starbucks customer AND prefer Dwolla as a method of payment.
A family can enjoy the quietness and small schools of Grimes, AND consider Django their favorite restaurant.
I’ve seen tweets and blogs that lead me to believe that some people like this division. Yet, there are lots of reasons to take pride in BOTH the development of (for example) the East Village AND the Western Suburbs. But if pride turns to superiority, the lack of connection could hurt us all, and begin to stymie some of the exciting vibrancy that’s come over the last 20 years.
The idea? Take the pockets of pride and the circles of interest and connect them. Let’s all stay open to all ways of thinking locally, and globally. Connect.