Foster: My kind of crazy

There’s still work to do, but I firmly believe that Southeast is changing itself, and in so doing, will change the world.

By Regan Foster
The Southeast Express

I’m going to be honest with you: I’ve had a hard time figuring out what to write this month. We passed the one-year mark as a print publication on Dec. 14, and now we are riding this funky spinning rock called Earth toward another year (at least as per the Gregorian calendar).

Should I offer some sort of witticism about making it a full year as a nonprofit, hyper-local newspaper? If you’ve been following this column, you’ve read it before.

What about a memorial being removed? That happened a few weeks ago at this point, and it should come as no surprise that of course I find that completely outrageous.

A New Year’s resolution? Meh.

As I was pondering subject matter (and yes, flipping through social media), I came across a work by Robert Siltanen, the marketing guru whose work “To the Crazy Ones” helped launch Apple’s hugely successful “Think Different” campaign. Bad grammar aside, the message struck a chord, for many reasons.

“Here’s to the crazy ones,” Siltanen wrote. “The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.”

He goes on to explain that it’s these renegades, these thinkers, these alternative advocates who may drive you crazy, but who will inevitably “push the human race forward.”

“And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius,” he continued. “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

To me, Southeast is the region’s version of the crazy ones. And I mean that in the best possible, change-the-world kind of way.

This is the quadrant that has been, well, “overlooked” may not be the right word, but it’s the first one that comes to mind. It’s the community that for decades had the bad rap, that was considered the wrong side of the tracks.

And although it’s clear there’s a lot more to the community than that, let’s be candid: When street lights were turned off, it wasn’t on the north or west sides of Colorado Springs.

Then someone or some leaders in Southeast got the idea that it was time to change the narrative … to rise up and coalesce and take control, as a community, of this area’s collective destiny. To be the misfit, the rebel, the troublemaker that was ready to advocate for itself.

Southeast picked leaders to represent it in the city, county and Legislature who saw not craziness but brilliance. They took up the clarion call and, whether pushing for better public transportation in the neighborhood or changing how we think about corrections, they are sounding the trumpet of Southeast’s collective voice.

Colorado’s governor has celebrated Harrison School District 2 as a state-wide model for how to create a partnership that makes college decidedly attainable.

Private citizens, entrepreneurs and community advocates have coalesced to elevate the dialogue, the narrative and level of action in the community. And let’s not overlook the important work that creatives are doing to share the true story of Southeast.

The simple fact is, in the past 12 months I have been delighted to have a front-row seat to a beautiful community on the rise. Yes, there’s still work to do, but I firmly believe that Southeast is changing itself, and in so doing, will change the world.

That’s not crazy … it’s genius.

Contact Southeast Express Editor and General Manager Regan Foster at (719) 578-2802 or regan.foster@southeastexpress.org.

** Recent  columns by Regan Foster:  Giving thanks, one year in **
**  The clock is ticking **

** What a difference a year makes **
** School dazed **
** Taking stock of how you shape us **
** By working together, we all grow **
** Inspiration from the past while looking to the future **

 

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