Somewhere in the middle...

There has been a lot of discussion in our neighborhood lately about gentrification. And there are lots of people standing up yelling about how they want to keep the neighborhoods as they are, to not displace people. And there are others who are somewhat coyly saying they are making the neighborhoods better as they buy up cheap property, put in some money, and get out a lot more. There is nothing about the capitalist system that will fault people for making as much money as they can. There is nothing about community that will fault people for wanting to stay in the place they call home. So where are we, in all of this polarized tension? We are out there on that highwire, balancing, between the two poles on the line drawn taut with opposition on each end, trying to navigate that grey area defined by something called choice. We are trying to give people options. Give them the possibility of and/or instead of one path. For choice gives people agency - puts them in control of their destiny. They can sell their house and make enough money to send their kids to college. They can stay in their house and fix it up and grow their equity. They can rent their whole life in the neighborhood they call home. They can buy their first house and not have to worry about huge repair bills and energy costs. They can drive, walk, bike, or take the bus. They can sit on the front porch or back. Choice is what defines us - controlling our destiny elevates us as a society above reactionary creatures of fate, and this is what our neighborhood deserves - choice. So here we are, out here in the middle, hoping that those crying from the poles will join us - concede something, give up some ground, and join us in the middle, so we can all work on this together.

[KMN]