The Scranton people are quite hospitable so there is rarely a time I do not have the opportunity to get into a conversation about current events and such. The usual casual banter proceeds with the obligatory greeting, inquiries into local events and then into personal feelings, and it is those personal feelings that usually interest me. We begin talking about goals, and more often than not, the goal of many Scrantonians is to do the very same thing.
Many people who live in Scranton have it as their main goal in life to leave Scranton. This truly speaks volumes of this place and says a lot about how the people feel about living in Scranton. There is even a Facebook page that is dedicated to idea that “Scranton sucks.” There you will find complaints about the quality of the roads, the high taxes, declining home values, poor business prospects and general malaise that seems to grip this city. For these reasons, and others not mentioned, I regularly hear that people are planning to leave Scranton for good and are just biding their time.
On Second Thought
I find that sense of resignation puzzling. Why leave Scranton when you can make Scranton better? The feelings of the Scranton people are that you cannot make Scranton better, but that is of course not based on any facts. History only tells us what has happened; it is pretty silent on the matter concerning what will happen. There is nothing in history that could have foretold the rise of America. England had almost a thousand-year head start but we still managed to surpass them. Scranton can do what America did back when it was a sapling of a nation. The greatest enemy of the Scranton people is the mindset that things cannot change. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once everyone believes that something cannot be done, no one will even attempt to accomplish it. Of course, it works the opposite way also. Once only one person believes something is possible, they can share that enthusiasm with others, and before long everyone believes that the once impossible is possible. This is what happened with the American revolution, civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, Arab Spring, the Orange Revolution and a host of other revolutions. All it took was just a couple of people to get those movements to spread. The same will happen in Scranton
The grass may be greener on the other side. It may be full of things that are lacking in your current predicament. But even if you run into the ends of the planet, you will always be confronted with the responsibility to the duty to yourself, family and neighbors. We can never escape our obligation to each other. That is the bedrock of society. The people make up society and if there is something wrong with our society then it is the people who I will appeal to do something about it. It is the people who will set things right.