How often do we break our weekly routines and try to truly understand our neighbors, especially those near our daily routines? Why don’t we understand more of our hometown makeup and what makes our hometown, home? On September 11th, a most sorrowful and mournful day in our great nation’s history, we sought out answers to these questions. It was all part of our Leadership Louisville program day.
The day started with many of us riding shotgun to see firsthand some of the not so popular and forgotten areas of Louisville. The passengers that shared in the journey of discovery were from different backgrounds, experiences, sex, and race. Each passenger carried with them their own impressions of the areas and the people we met. We sought new street corners to interact with neighbors and their daily routines.
What stood out in all our encounters, were the individuals’ sense of pride. Whether they were a barbeque chef at a convenience store or a postal worker. Pride is the true beauty and backbone in all neighborhoods, especially in the most challenged of areas. To us, this is exactly what we did not expect. It is wrong for us to think that anyone does not care about their neighborhood. Our new friends that we met see the beauty and delicacies of their own ecosystems and remained in these areas regardless of the changes made by the government or other influences.
I learned that pride exists regardless of stereotypes and pride is the driving force for those surviving in the neighborhoods we traveled.