Thursday, June 13, 2013

Take my half-full glass and put more in it.

Joan L. Benso, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said this at a recent luncheon honoring advocates for early childhood education: "Take my half-full glass and put more in it." She was referring to her perspective on her work, but I thought it applied to life in the Lehigh Valley as well. 

I am privileged to live and work in the Lehigh Valley. I feel safe in my home and neighborhood. I have lots of great options for healthcare, entertainment and professional services. 

I can't help but compare my life here to the one I lived in DC. Time has seasoned my memory of big city life. Yes, there was public transportation. But sometimes the bus didn't come or the Metrorail train broke down while it was in the tunnel... With no A/C...Full of people hurrying to get home from work or a baseball game. Yes, there were a million things to do every night. But as a young professional, I couldn't afford to go out all the time. And yes, there were so many more young (insert adjective that describes you here: single, married, fabulous, worldly) people than in the Lehigh Valley. But most people were only making DC a stop along their life's journey, as I was, and didn't put down roots long enough to really get to know other people. 

Each year that I have lived here, despite an economic downturn, things have improved. We have a Chipotle, Botox, Bikram yoga, a film festival. There are new transplants arriving daily: I see the hopefulness in their faces in the grocery store, at church, on Main Street when I walk Stella. 

Is there more to do? Yes. Are there people and institutions that could do more? You bet. But my glass is already half-full. The rest is just gravy. 

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