The recent re-elevation of O’Hare Field to the rank of “busiest in the world” is a mixed blessing. The city of Chicago will applaud, whereas some of us living under its busy flight paths may not.
But here’s what strikes me. We so often judge a bedroom community like ours in the O’Hare orbit in terms of the people working AROUND us, rather than those working WITHIN us. Pilots, cab drivers, casino owners, hotels and their residents are all part of the local energy and economy, but lets not marginalize those everyday people who work here, service here and often live here.
Among these — you know them as well as I — are our schools teachers…crossing guards….retailers….doctors, nurses and hospital technicians….bankers and realtors…police and fire fighters…city officials…oh and to be sure our indispensable 24/7 first responders.
A community and a culture are like a large tapestry made up of countless threads. Whereas the big economic players stand out, the locals warrant more than passing attention. Which is why this newspaper and its reports are such a vital part of the overall weave the helps binds us.
So yes we thrive because of the many outside economic players like the airport, but human nature always makes the same mistake: Taking for granted what you’ve got till you don’t have it anymore!
Imagine waking up some morning without our everyday locals. What a barren, dysfunctional Park Ridge that would be. And by the way, I’m especially thinking here of another taken-for-granted: All our local produce managers. Really…! Every time I happily peruse and inhale their enormous hordes of fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s a reassuring reminder that our crazy world sometimes actually works. Like the way produce managers access dozens of nations from which they bring us these rich bounties of the earth 12 months a year.
When you think about it, if every nation in the world could work together the way these international produce markets do, why we just might find out we Earthlings can actually live together after all.
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