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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Saint Petersburg & The New Jerusalem

Today I was very proud of our City.  This was Scrub the Burg day and hundreds of youth spread mulch, pulled weeds, painted, and did other chores all about the city.  I ran into a group of the youth at TASCO lab.  They stopped there to cool off, take a break, and get water.  They were obviously having a good time and working hard. (In the afternoon, I saw a video complete with music of many of their activities done in the morning.)  Needless to say, there were boys and girls, and races of all types represented.  What made me especially proud was when a Parks Leisure Services manager came by.  He had on a Scrub the Burg T-shirt, and obviously because of his sweat and general appearance had been working hard; but he bore a happy frame of mind.  I said to myself, “Now there’s true leadership—not a forbidding potentate behind a big desk directing the youth to work, but getting out and being with them during the hottest and most humid part of the day.”  Sometimes I have felt that Saint Petersburg is the New Jerusalem.  Days like today bring this feeling back.  I don’t know why we want to think future bliss will be all ease and mauve.  I suspect that there is lots of work ahead in bold, primary colors.  From work flow creativity, generosity, and sharing.  In other words, the byproducts of work are essentially spiritual.  I suspect this dimension is a fundamental purpose of Scrub the Burg day.  It is certainly of equal value as spread mulch and pulled weeds. 

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