Down, not out

They trying to say he (down, down) I hear people saying he (down, but not out) - Kanye West, “Down and Out

Down, but not out. That’s how I’d describe what happened to me this summer.

Soon after launching Detroit Diaspora, I got sick. I spent five days in the hospital in excruciating pain, and a week at home recovering afterwards. It sucked. Thankfully, my wife, family, friends and co-workers had my back.

You learn a lot about yourself when you’re in the hospital, especially if it’s your first time like it was for me. You figure how much pain you can withstand and how many tears you can produce. It becomes clear that trying to look cool is a whole lot less important than getting better. You learn just how nasty prune juice tastes.

When hard times come, we need people to have our backs. People to help us in every way. My wife made me laugh and helped me with my medicine. She states with me at the hospital. My co-workers sent me a care package with candy and games to keep my spirits up. Everybody had unique, indispensable roles in my recovery.

Our beloved Detroit is the same. We’re learning a lot about the city and its people. The grit and uncanny resilience. The pride that cuts through peril. The ingenuity that undergirds our hustling spirit.

We, native Detroiters living inside and outside of our hometown, have unique, indispensable roles in Detroit’s future. We all can’t or won’t necessarily return home, but that doesn’t mean we have no contribution(s) to make.

  • Maybe you commit to staying abreast on positive goings on in Detroit so you can counter negative narratives about the city. Here are a couple resources for that.
  • Maybe you decide to take a trip back to learn what’s happening in a few specific realms, like my friends with Detroit Nation are doing later this month.
  • Maybe you help out a Detroit-area project by donating money for it, like many Michiganders in Washington, DC did for GELT Detroit earlier this summer.
  • Maybe you decide to rep the Lions extra hard this season.
  • Or maybe you commit to inviting 2 new people to Detroit Diaspora.

Every contribution matters. With each person putting out positive vibes from wherever they are, more momentum builds. That momentum build potential and that potential builds power. The power to change. The power to overcome. The power to recover from being down, but not out.

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