"...here is a time when the operations of the machine become so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machines will be prevented from running at all."
There comes a point in history, in a life-story, in this reality that everything must stop.
Sit quietly for a moment.
The City of Roanoke bleeds. The city bleeds unyielding to all bandages and tourniquets placed upon the wounds.
7,500 jobs lost in a very, very short time - and still it has not rebounded, not moved on.
What we have here in Roanoke is beyond special - it's beyond mere understanding. We have a workforce capable of anything, but at the same time nothing.
A citizen population which for the most part considers itself under a "Cease and Desist" order by the city itself. Easily distracted by the smaller issues, to the detriment of itself.
A city council which is in no way representative of the citizens, just a small number of them.
In effect, the citizenry of Roanoke is obsolete. Not required for anything other than the taxes they provide and the menial jobs they fill.
And that last statement cuts across the board, across class and race and religion.
Yet, all is no where near lost. Lost has yet to appear on the radar for Roanoke. We still have things no other city on the planet can boast of. Natural beauty being key among them. Wise city forefathers with the forethought to bury power and communications lines underground in the most important area - downtown. Compassion for our fellow man. Vast resources that remain untapped.
We have both wisdom and foresight, yet it rarely is seen. Buried under the oppressive machine that is business in Roanoke. The status quo.
But as I said, all is not lost. There are easy fixes to most of the cities' problems. Remarkably easy.
It just takes vision - and that's where we need to begin.
We have brilliant people living here in Roanoke. People who can see clearly the change that is needed.
We need visionary leaders - not platitudes and beige-ideologues. We need people who can stir the silent masses, the obsolete, and begin moving towards a new tomorrow.
Thats the first step.
Listening for the exhalation of an entire city.