As someone who has spent most years of her life in St. Louis, I can attest to the deep nostalgia and admiration for the city's culture and traditions its residents have. However, a strong reverence for the past can often times be debilitating. Such a thing does not allow you to move forward and make real progress.
Change is the cumulation of individual efforts though. For anyone who disagrees, I would like to remind them that it took only young man being killed to cause the demonstrations that have been going on for over a week now. The things we are doing, or not doing, in our daily lives have greater consequence than we realize. Are we putting in as much time and effort as needed at work? Are we making a positive impact in our immediate communities, even in the smallest of measures? Are we staying informed not only locally, but internationally? Are we willing to learn something new? The evolution of a city depends entirely on that of its inhabitants. Because one person puts their foot forward they will then often find someone standing next to them, and so forth.
Everyday since I moved back to St. Louis a little over a year ago I have felt lucky, not only for my past here that gave me such a valuable set of values and people, but for the endless amount of opportunities that lie ahead. We live in a city that has affordable real estate (both residential and commercial), an easily accessible network of connections and a terrific base of arts and entertainment. We have so many places to go from there within our own boundaries. First thing's first though: we must take a step, look to each side of us and extend a hand to one another. Regardles what our own history may try to tell us.
Let's be smart, and let's build things.