A Future of Hope

When I was younger, living a skip away from across the river, Fort Smith was the place where dreams were made, heroes born and paychecks earned (as long as you were willing to work). Fort Smith was a romanticized metropolis of trend setters, underground music, and innovative minds, which infatuated my soul, invoking a misplaced loyalty to the feudal city. I pledged my loyalty to the city, vowing to win over the hearts of its foes, one by one. For a short time, I became part of the Tea Party protesting on Garrison. The height of my political career was when I held up a badly traced and colored-in poster board that said something like, “We the people! Not, we the government!”  At the end of that day, I felt like nothing had changed. My opinion didn’t matter in the grand picture of the world. I understood that my tiny voice could not change anything. I put my soap box away, so I could focus on myself for a while and hone life skills, that one day may justify my existence in the cosmos. 

  The more I aged, the less I became involved in any type of social scene. I became a hermit content on reading the books I ignored in my youth. In the days of my solitude, I forgone any real life adventure, only to immerse myself with the lives of the characters I read about. The fictitious characters taught me not to rely on others to make you happy, but rather grab happiness itself and bath in the unburdened light of freedom. 

  Seeing the world anew, I looked across the river to see the once glorious Fort Smith cityscape turned gray. A bleak land full of dingy, dirty, grime painted over with sparsely rooted trees and dolled up superficial wolves, ready to devour the weak willed on a moments notice. I cringed as I crossed the bridge into the city, knowing I would see travesties at every corner. The romanticized image I once had of the city faded, as I seen the true nature of this frightful place. Criminals, thugs, and drug dealers fall out of the wood work and scatter, as you turn on the light of your mind. Not even the upper most elitists of Fort Smith are invulnerable to this madness. Corruption at the very top is rampant in the hearts of our leaders. 

  I could list problem after problem, symptom after symptom but in the end, it would still be the same. Nothing is going to change unless this town is cleaned up in every way possible. Fort Smith has the potential to live up to its title as the second largest city in Arkansas but on its current path, there will be nothing but ruin. Now as a citizen of Fort Smith, I charge the leaders of this city with a mission; to change their ways and turn this city back to what it once was, a place of hope.  

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Comments

Beautiful Article Kevin

agreed that Fort Smith should be a "place of hope" and inspiration for all that visit or live within the city. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

If a million people can't stop a war

for another 7 years while the entire world watched them try, could it be you should work a little longer than a day at this? If the young never get involved, the old will end up running the entire show. Dang nab 'em. Good luck!

Thank you

Thank you for your kind words.

Westphal

An answer before a question: Are you a member of the Westphal Family which owns numerable properties in Fort Smith among which is the Riverfront property associated with Marshal Museum area development?

Put away your soapbox, pick up some soap

Put away the soapbox and keyboard and get involved in the community. Pick up a paint brush and soap and get to scrubbin'. Start fixing the problems you see instead of being a helpless bystander watching the house slowly burn down. Stop waiting for the city government to fix everything. For such a self-described ultra-conservative, go-it-alone, do-it-yourself town, everyone sure likes to expect much and blame more on the local government officials. Start by looking in the mirror.

Thank you for your blog Kevin

Hi Kevin, I really enjoyed reading your lyrical blog post. It was so refreshing to see yet another person willing to openly share and explore their perspectives about Fort Smith and its future. Kevin, you wrote: "Nothing is going to change unless this town is cleaned up in every way possible." I very much agree with you about this. Personally, it is my opinion that the first and foremost thing that needs to be 'cleaned up' is the negative, self-sabotaging, destructive state of mind that the city seems to value so desperately. Another statement you made that caught my attention Kevin was this one: "I charge the leaders of this city with a mission; to change their ways and turn this city back to what it once was, a place of hope." I am prompted to ask you this...who do you recognize and consider to be the 'leaders' of Fort Smith? Now, about "hope." Hope is a tricky concept. Indeed, it is the proverbial double-edged sword. On one edge hope is the belief that what is being done today will bring about a more desirable outcome tomorrow. And having this hope keeps us hanging in there doing what we're doing to create, what we consider to be a better experience. It's a good thing. On hope's other edge, it traps one's attention so abundantly in a desired outcome that only exists as a possibility in the future, that the person gives away their today. This is not a good thing. Now ask yourself this basic question Kevin...under what set of circumstances, under what conditions, does a person need hope? After you have thoroughly explored and answered that question for yourself check to see if you still want Fort Smith to be a place of hope. And just so you know, I'm asking myself the same question.
Hi Kevin, I really enjoyed reading your lyrical blog post. It was so refreshing to see yet another person willing to openly share and explore their perspectives about Fort Smith and its future. Kevin, you wrote: "Nothing is going to change unless this town is cleaned up in every way possible." I very much agree with you about this. Personally, it is my opinion that the first and foremost thing that needs to be 'cleaned up' is the negative, self-sabotaging, destructive state of mind that the city seems to value so desperately. Another statement you made that caught my attention Kevin was this one: "I charge the leaders of this city ...>> Read the entire comment.

Anonymous:

Anonymous: I haven’t the knowledge nor the means to mend this city. I am but a servant, trying to earn enough money for a slice of bread. Does a construction worker try to mend his own wounds or does he go to a doctor? Even though I see problems, I lack the experience and fundamental knowledge to fix them. There are more capable hands to heal the wounds of the city. I however, will fix any issue that I’m capable of. I will not sit idly by, if I have the know-how to rectify a problem. A Pilgrim: Leader- Anyone with the power to change, or willing to lead others in change for the betterment of others. About hope: Very basically, a person needs hope to live. Without hope a person’s soul and body will whither away. See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. N.Choir: Nice username by the way. I didn't catch the niftiness of it, until I vocalized the words. No, unfortunately that kind of wealth and influence evades me. I’ve tried to obtain it, but every attempt has been met with failure. I blame it on the Moon! Every night I stare at its marvel but it just blankly stares back, refusing to share its luster. I think I may have cursed it long ago and it still holds a grudge. Perhaps one day it will have pity on me and share its secrets on shining bright, despite the darkness. I want to thank you all for reading my post and giving your valued feedback. It is much appreciated.

Hope to read more from you Kevin

Kevin, you have expressed that you lack the fundamental knowledge, means and experience to mend this city. And, if that's what you believe, that's what is. However, it is clearly obvious that you are able to respond to (take responsibility for) your observations and how you interpret those observations. Also, evidenced by this blog of yours, not only do you demonstrate a willingness to share your observations and interpretations publicly you are able to do so through a most engaging style of writing. Kevin, you have much that is of value to bring to the table. You may not be inclined to do so, but I, for one, would certainly like to see more blog posts from you here on TCW. There is so much to explore! Btw, I did explore further the concept of hope from a few different points of view and interpretations, and, although, I most definitely don't disagree with your perspective of hope, the outcome of my exploration reveals hope to be a symptom of a deep seated suffering. A suffering brought into manifestation by a belief in lack. Hope is a means of the soul to mitigate that suffering. And as you point out, a person needs hope to live. And you're right, without it a person's body (I believe a soul is impervious to harm or death) would not be able to survive such intense suffering that is being brought on by this belief in lack. A lack for something that can never be filled in this world. Thanks for directing me to Maslow. I have high regard for Maslow and greatly appreciate his contributions in the explorations of self-actualization.
Kevin, you have expressed that you lack the fundamental knowledge, means and experience to mend this city. And, if that's what you believe, that's what is. However, it is clearly obvious that you are able to respond to (take responsibility for) your observations and how you interpret those observations. Also, evidenced by this blog of yours, not only do you demonstrate a willingness to share your observations and interpretations publicly you are able to do so through a most engaging style of writing. Kevin, you have much that is of value to bring to the table. You may not be inclined to do so, but I, for one, would certainly like to see more blog posts ...>> Read the entire comment.

Matters of the Heart

a pilgrim: Thank you, I always try to embellish my writing as much as I can. Attractive and elegant words are kinder to the heart, and once you win the heart, you win the mind.

oops

The anonymous post adressing previous comments is mine. Just making that clear, so there is no confusion.

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