I love my dad. We've always had a weird relationship, but to this day I look up to him. This afternoon he sent some of his guys over to the Walnut Hills church to wire the electric for the video projectors we're installing. And he donated it, saving Echo a considerable amount of money that can be spent on other projects. I called him up tonight to thank him, and he played it off like it was no big deal. It's humility, and the fact that he's not much of a phone talker. Anyway, one of the traits that I inherited from my father was optimism. My dad is the type of guy who would look at a mountainous pile of manure, grin, then comment, "start digging, there must be a horse in there somewhere." No matter how bleak the situation, my dad will avoid any negative thoughts and press on.
Yet some might say my father is optimistic to a fault. There are times when, after an honest assessment of the situation predicts a grim future, he'll keep a Pollyanna outlook. This perspective can be damaging to the bottom line if your hopeful attitude is wrong.
And I'm just like my dad in this way. I don't want to hear your negativity. Just step back as I get the job done.
That being said, I wonder if I'm reading the renaissance of Cincinnati right. One of the reasons I was insistent on starting the church in the city is that I felt things were about to turn around. Then I read Emily's blog about her sister Melissa's assumed welfare status because she lives here in Walnut Hills, and I also read that Cincinnati's population is in danger of shrinking below an acceptable level, and I wonder if I was right.
***Do me a favor, you who are ready to use the comment option to post your "Cincinnati sucks and will never change" opinion: save it. That'll just piss me off and make me more resolute in carrying on. And I don't need that motivation.
But then I reflect on the night Kelly and I had with our daughter. We put Kaelyn in her stroller, walked over to Eden Park, sat on a blanket by Mirror Lake and read. We thoroughly enjoyed, along with a diverse group of urbanites, a beautiful summer evening. It's times like this that affirm to me that this place is changing.
Then there are the people I meet, new to the city, that love living here. They chose to live here, and make it their home. I might not be able to articulate exactly why I think the city's turning the corner, but I have this sense I have that we're in the midst of something great that's about to happen.
Or maybe it's just my dad's optimism that I just can't shut off. Either way, I don't care. Dad seems to enjoy life well enough.