To Have and to Give


To be able to give, you first must have. I really don’t see any way around that. You cannot give away something that you don’t have. Interestingly my walk today started out on Nottingham Rd adjacent to The Country Club of Lansing. Nottingham of course calls to mind the tales of Robin Hood, who took from the rich and gave to the poor. Some today may even believe that those behaviors are still alive and strong in our taxation system. Whether that is true or not, or even whether I believe the rich have a responsibility for enhancing the welfare of the less fortunate or not isn’t really what my point is. As I walked today through gorgeously manicured streets meandering through this prosperous neighborhood and then later joining the MarketLansing group at The Country Club of Lansing, I became very aware of how much I appreciate the success of others. Without the people who are doing well and accumulating some type of wealth there would be no giving. Sometimes that wealth can come in non monetary forms as well such as time or connectivity, but it is still something that they’ve made choices to acquire. It’s through their ability to have just a little more than they need for themselves that so many great things are accomplished. And as I make my way through Lansing and learn more and more about the generosity of the community that I realized I appreciate what they have to give.
At today’s luncheon the speaker was David from Pure Michigan. He spent almost an hour showing us how he and his staff promote Michigan; the lakes, the beaches, the sports, the night life. He played Pure Michigan ads one after the other showcasing all the glorious places Michigan holds. He didn’t promote the downtrodden or the unfortunate. There wasn’t a boarded up house anywhere. He definitely didn’t let us know how many kids are on welfare or how many veterans are homeless. To do so would take away from what they are trying to do which is bring tourists to Michigan. We all know those things are out there. We know that not every Michigan resident is in a good place. Just like when you meet someone for the first time and are getting that first impression you don’t want them to tell you that they have an ingrown toenail, might be suffering from hemorrhoids and that their hair is thinning a bit. You want to know if they’ve been healthy and happy. You want to know if they’ve got kids or a good job. You want to know about the good stuff first. Sometimes our goal is to puff something up; to explain to others what the good things are so that they aren’t immediately turned away without giving it a chance. So as I walk everywhere, I’ve come to really appreciate the lovely places, the well to do places, the hopeful places and all the people who can and do give. It really makes my City Sauntering worth sauntering.

Urban Gardens are located throughout Lansing and help the community

Rizzi Design’s office. With help of the Land Bank they were able to return this School of the Blind administration building into a spectacular office suite.

Urban Garden as part of Village Summit. The micro center owner used his retirement as a teacher to fund both areas. 

The Marshal Street Armory was recently restored by the Gillespie Group to house multiple non profits in one unique environment. 

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