Monday, May 20, 2019

EXTRA: Does it take an out-of-towner to realize Chicago’s the place to be?

“We are each other’s harvest. We are each other’s business. We are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
--Gwendolyn Brooks, as quoted by new Mayor Lori Lightfoot


LIGHTFOOT: Chicago's new mayor
I couldn’t help but note the bit Monday where newly-inaugurated Mayor Lori Lightfoot cited some words of wisdom from one-time poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks.

The first-ever black, female to be Chicago mayor found something wise in the words of the first-ever black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize (1950, for poetry).

I FIND IT refreshing to think that we are one, and that we all ought to be working together if we’re to succeed.

Because we’re in an era where some people are way too eager to peddle the notion that everybody of any sense is fleeing Chicago, AND Illinois. Usually claiming that it’s all BECAUSE OF Chicago’s existence that they don’t want to be a part of our state any longer.

I don’t doubt that some people have such a dismal outlook on life that they’re willing to leave. Maybe they even think that places like Indiana, or somewhere down South, are better.

I’m inclined to think we’re better off without such people. We don’t need such downers dragging us all down to their level in life.

MAYBE IT’S EVEN appropriate for Lightfoot to look to Brooks. The poet was a Topeka, Kansas, native who wound up living the bulk of her life in Chicago and became as much a native as someone born and raised here.

Similar to that of Lightfoot, a native of Massillon, Ohio, who wound up coming to the University of Chicago to study and figured out that her life was here.

BROOKS: Providing words of wisdom
Maybe for every person with no faith in Chicago who flees for a life elsewhere, we’re attracting a higher-quality of individual who realizes just how special the Second City can be.

And now we can spend the next four years seeing whether Lightfoot is capable of upgrading our city to the point where we won’t be griping four years from now, wondering just “What was I thinking?” when we voted for her. If we can follow the advice of Brooks and realize we are “one,” perhaps we’ll all be better off.


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