Realizing one’s dream is the driving force for many New Yorkers. They come from across the country and far off places around the globe. Languages, customs, and expectations meld together, forming the community foundation for a common dream; to make it in the Big Apple. Clich?s are common; “if you can make it hear you can make it anywhere” is at the root of many. And yet the dreams and this setting are the stage for the impossible. Great music is born in the corners of the city. Venues in Harlem, the Lower East Side, Brooklyn, and even Queens nurture new artists who may grace the stages of the Lincoln Center, Broadway, and Carnegie Hall in the future.
Music, art, intellectual thought, sports, and business are great examples of a community commitment to excellence and winning. Yet New York doesn’t always win, isn’t always the best, and often has a dark side which comes along with the great strides. It is a city where winning often takes precedence over community. It is a place where success extracts a price from morality. Being the best may not have any connection with those struggling with life’s challenges.
Imagine a community where solutions to life’s conundrums and wicked problems were as profitable as the next Wall Street deal. Imagine a community where any and every complaint or protest traveled with a companion named Hope, Action, and Compassion. Imagine a community where inclusiveness was a given. Your community and mine may not be this way, yet what we do in this moment can change what we will become. Until then we “weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured down on us from above and the badlands desert grows crops and the fertile fields become forests. Justice will move into the badlands desert. Right will build a home in the fertile field. And where there's Right, there'll be Peace and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust.” (Isaiah 32.15-17)
In our grief we can act. In the middle of our tears we can choose. We can realize dreams.
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