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Uninformed, misinformed, uncertain, unheard
by Luke Armstrong
Tech entrepreneur in Omaha
Omaha is a city at the center of the heartland, and tragically it was born without a heart.
But really, what city does? A city is a collection of people, a collection of hearts and minds. And Omaha's hearts and minds are vibrantly diverse!
Omaha is a community connected mainly by automobiles and held together by the social commerce of relationships. Out of those relationships, conversations occur at schools, offices, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants; these conversations act as checks on our carefully balanced reality.
The pandemic and racial justice movements have exposed the soft lining of our community, which has so often been stitched together with little inspection -- using materials found nearby, a little cobbled together but working.
Over the last decade, many of our citizens have felt fear. . . they have felt anger. . . they have felt uninformed, misinformed, uncertain, unheard, and unrepresented.
We often hear leaders, media personalities, and neighbors who seek to silence or redirect voices critical of our current situations, reinforcing the polarity placed in all situations, seeking one size fits all approaches that cannot accommodate the variety of needs we currently face. Many of us feel a sense of impending doom. We need a way out, a way to work together more efficiently.
The profound reality is that we have only lost our orientation.
HERE WE ARE at a nexus of possibly at the most incredible time in human achievement. From here, we have a great opportunity... We have vast resources and ample time, but our window of opportunity will start closing soon. We must act now with great responsibility while remaining open to future needs. These needs likely include significant social, environmental, and technological evolution. The question is not IF, but HOW. We should all want a say in HOW. A say in how we build our collective heart to protect each of us and each other, to provide great opportunity even if you still must seize it yourself.
To move forward, we need to share positive vision(s), organized resources, and radical transparency to focus our community efforts. We need to honestly identify our challenges and organize our efforts in collaboration with one another. We need to be inclusive of people who have ideas, beliefs, and needs that are different from our own. We need practical progress toward improving our reality against the challenges of our time.
Nebraska largely has avoided this new reality and the great opportunity it conceals. Omaha seems to be only gingerly moving towards these goals.
So, where to go from here?