Friday, November 30, 2012 By Aaron Brown
It’s true. I am not happy all the time living in Cleveland. But I don’t want to be happy all the time. That’s unnatural. Said Nietzsche:You need only replace the word "Cleveland" with the term "Iron Range" and you have a concise summary of my life philosophy as well. Most "homers" from up here to Albany, N.Y., probably feel similarly.
“Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.”
Cleveland is a struggle. But that is how I know it. That is how many Clevelanders in their 20’s to 40’s know it. We didn’t know the city of Mr. Jingeling and Bob Hope—the city of a near million—the “Best Location in Nation”. No, we knew Cleveland on its knees. We knew Cleveland praying. But being born into post-industry is a good first lesson. Life is an obstacle. Cleveland prepares you.
I'd strongly suggest reading the full piece for context, because this comes with a warning.
But this groundedness, this Rust Belt-ness, it’s not a settling or a lack of aspiration, but rather—for Clevelanders populating the city that never knew its heights— a chance to look around and see nothing but work to do, and an opportunity to do it. There are a lot of fresh eyes around. The city psychology is changing. And I think this may save Cleveland, because people are no longer waiting for Cleveland to save us.
That sounds a lot like what's happening in Duluth, but for some reason the opposite of what's happening here on the Iron Range, where we still wait for mining companies or political winds to favor us. Look around. There is so much work to do. Isn't that wonderful? A life of great purpose can be lived under such conditions.
(h/t to reader "T" for posting the link to this piece in a comment)