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A Rant, and a Call to Rally

Hello, my name is Karen. And I'm a Facebook addict.

That being said, I am amazed at how much can be communicated in just a few words on this social-networking site. (As an aside, can we remove those two words – social networking – from the English language?) Even status updates are a kind of poetry when in the right hands.

An awesome former co-worker's conversation string about the Michigan Central Station created an interesting comment I wanted to share. Her friend noted: “How sad the state of the building & the state of Detroit. Wish it would rally!!!!”

The part I like, and you can tell it is because I'm a lover of words, is the idea of rallying around the city. Get out your dictionaries, kiddies:

Rally: verb. To bring into order again; gather and organize or inspire anew: The general rallied his scattered army. 2. to draw or call (persons) together for a common action or effort: He rallied his friends to help him. 3. to concentrate or revive, as one's strength, spirits, etc.: They rallied their energies for the counterattack.

Damn straight. Let's rally.

It's like when some 5,200 people get together to support the Detroit Public Schools through the Reading Corps. (Yeah, that's how high the volunteer count is now.) Or when more than 10,000 people “friend” the Detroit Declaration on Facebook. Or even when a single person picks up a piece of trash off of Belle Isle, chooses to eat at a downtown restaurant or keeps watch over the homes in their neighborhood as part of an Angel's Night activity.

Enough whining. Enough despair over things past. Enough pessimism. End the conversations about city versus surburbs. Rally. Don't you feel the grass-roots movements gaining momentum? Don't you see the younger generations taking interest in Detroit? Anyone taken note of the small-businesses popping up everywhere? Has anyone noticed the outcroppings of people walking around downtown, taking over the neighborhoods? Just a few years ago, you could shoot a cannon down Woodward, Jefferson, Lafayette and not hit a thing. Not now.

It's not about giant leaps; it's about baby steps. It's about an attitude. As Mayor Bing says: “If you are here at 8 a.m., you are late.”

So, Detroit, for all of our sakes, rally.

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