I met with the town administrator today. He’s such a sweet old man. He’s been all around the world, state treasurer, and filled several other administrative and finance positions. Basically worked in government all his life. Anyway, I asked him today what the most common occupation is for the people living in Hunts Point and he said real estate. This led me to thinking, could it be that something people are willing to pay the most for is a home? What does this say about our society? In my capstone class yesterday we talked about public journalism…which is basically a type of journalism and reporting that engages the community more than just reporting on it. They work to instill change and inspire the people into motion. My friend Noelle and I got in an intense discussion with our professor about this kind of journalism. We were discussing the ethics of the 1987 Ledger-Enquirer  case in town of Columbus. What they did, in short, was organize a public meeting where residents could discuss the future of their city which at that time “lacked organization, leadership, lively debate. It had a governement but weak public sphere, a politics not enough people were willing to join.” They did this to inspire action among the city. But wait, is it right for journalists to be this involved with the community they report on? Isn’t this cutting too close to the line of potential bias and distance?
Anyway, this discussion flowed into a broader topic of the condition of American society. Noelle and I concluded that in general there are two kinds of people in this country…fat-arse lazy people and over-worked detatched people. Of course these are broad arch-types, but what we were discouraged about is how self-absorbed American society is. It’s rare to come upon a community that still has block parties, an engaged community that is willing to reach out and contribute to the place they live.
In an interview I had with one of the residents of Hutns Point, he pointed out how America really is the home of the “self-made man” and that the thing he loved most about the community in which he lived was that the people were indeed self-made, but not self-centered. They were open to enjoying and contributing to the people around them.

Anyways, I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I believe I’ve come to discover something at the core of my passion for journalism and story telling. I want for people to see and understand each other. I want for them to reach beyond themselves and learn about the world around them and not just about the parts that are useful to them. I want society to get off their FAT BUTTS and become generative. Take care of God’s world and His people – or at least learn and become a part of the system.

I dunno, I think maybe I need to hone my theories down a bit more and clarify them to a simple mission statement of ten words or less. *sigh* I’ll work on it. But it’s gonna be hard to simplify such strong passions. I wonder if I’ll ever feel this strongly about a single person? Well, I’ll avoid that for right now…that has more to do with my other class.

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One Response to “Values”

  1. danjor says:

    It sounds like the people in Hunts Point understand the wisdom of leveraging a finite commodity in the face of a growing demand. It’s not so much that the most expensive purchase joe citizen will make is a home, it’s that the demand for homes like his will increase. They will pay the most for it, because while it may be expensive now, it will be even more expensive in the future. Thus, an investment with a very safe return.
    There are very few successful individuals who got where they are by stepping on other people’s toes. Most have realized that helping people, and treating them right in business and in life is the only real way to be a success.

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