The future of Detroit is in all of our hands. We are a city of purposeful and persistent people.
The bankruptcy was the most important moment in our journey to recovery. In clinical medicine, uncertainty is often times worse than the diagnosis itself.
I have heard my patients say that they cry and dry heave prior to an appointment in which they are awaiting confirmation of a diagnosis. Once they hear the words, the dry heaving stops and they begin the process to concentrate on what to do from that point forward in their lives.
Kubler-Ross identified the stages of grief for dying patients and others, and we collectively, as all who call ourselves Detroiters, follow a similar path of grief for the city that has been lost.
Or isn’t what it could be or once was.
This extended grief cycle has been described as a roller coaster of activity and passivity in a fight against unavoidable change.
We rail against the change. We grieve for the losses, both actual and possible. We ride this roller coaster once we have been provided the diagnosis. It is not until the acceptance that we can build again, concentrating on the changes that only a purposeful and persistent people can create.
In the recent weeks, I have watched the flood of media from all parts of the world, both sympathetic and accusatory.
The academic postmortem reviewing what has led to our diagnosis of insolvency. I read and watched all of these with great interest.
At least in the more current reports, we are no longer merely a crime statistic or a series of YouTube videos of ridicule. We are an example of certain failures that we do not hold alone, failures that will be shared by others as well.
We are also an example of purpose, persistence, and resolve. Of incredible creativity and resilience.
An opportunity to accept the diagnosis, change the framework, and rework the solution. An opportunity to lift up, embrace the new, provide some love, even from Beyonce.
Love and songs will not get us there.
The acceptance of our diagnosis will be our beginning.
The journey of grief cycle, through collective recognition and acceptance, will. Our work and the work of our staff and employees will. The work of the communities of Detroit will.
Our ability to create partners of industry, innovation, and foundation support will. The opportunity to create anew. (As demonstrated in the above video from Lowe Campbell Ewald ad agency.)
Enjoy the song. Embrace the support. Create the future.
It is in our hands.