On the Building of a City

(21 August - 17 October 1994) after Vachel Lindsay

A city is a fiction of lines on a map, merely a corporation, a financial, a legal convenience, unless the people who live in it make the city work for them. Therefore, let neighbors be neighborly. Although few have time, it takes no time to smile instead of frown, it takes no time to trust and to deserve trust, other than to do what you should do anyway. Let small acts signify the largeness of our feelings. But let us not meddle and waste each other’s time. Time is a symptom of priority. Our sloth and selfishness masquerade as something better than they are. Let us place priority on our neighbors, so when our neighbors are needy, they knock on our doors, and when they knock, we open our doors, and when our doors are open, our hearts are open. And let us not remain quiet if others misuse us but insist that our streets are safe and quiet, that our affairs are harmless, that our communications are thoughtful and caring, and that our politicians listen and respond. When we relinquish our own governance, when we are divided and only one side governs, we must all start again with the people next door, we must overcome our masquerades, our love of anonymity, our pressing businesses, and learn how to work together, constantly persisting in our efforts.