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I hesitate to focus too much on the negative, on the doom and gloom when blogging. I’m chuckling here, my hubby is actually my biggest fan, my cheerleader for telling the negative, also known as, “the truth.” So the truth matters, the truth has value, the truth is important to share, even when it is uncomfortable.

Right off the bat, I can think of dozens of people who have moved here with hopes and dreams and tried to start a business, tried to live, and yet just wound up broke, depressed, and blaming themselves. I call it the Twilight Zone, the 9th circuit of hell, the abyss. “Come on vacation, leave on probation.” They need to hear the truth because they tend to blame themselves and also, suicide and addiction are just through the roof here. That’s a symptom.

So what if the truth suggested that rather than circumstances being entirely your fault, this poverty of spirit and chronic despair so many of us experience was really just a symptom of the environment you have been struggling to survive in??!

That is the truth, that is a huge part of the story in this neck of the woods.

Yep, environment matters, fertile soil matters, good leadership matters. No man is an island and you just can’t fight against all 3 obstacles at once. This is a perfect confluence, an environmental trifecta, one that has made thriving here nearly impossible.

So first off we have, “Seattle_- Tacoma Rank Among Worst Run Cities in The US.” True story! When I think of a real crapville, I often think of the South side of Chicago and East LA, but those are now outdated notions. Nothing quite compares to the miles and miles of homeless camps today, many of them partially on fire, all up and down the side of our freeways. It is so bad, some people recently got out of jury duty on account of the fact that they were able to prove they just couldn’t get themselves to the courthouse safely without some major security.

Next we have, “Personal Income by State, 1st Quarter 2022.” Once again, we are number one in…..decline of income. Actually we may share that distinction with Hawaii, but the point being we are either on the bottom or second from the bottom when it comes to growth. Having lived here for a number of decades I’d actually dispute that, I think that’s really a negative number. This is an average so, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” The well off are suffering growth of only 1.9%, while the rest of us are struggling just to keep the lights on and feeling quite grateful we still live in a structure that actually has lights.

I sometimes joke with people that I am doing my best to just become a graceful poster child for the downwardly mobile. So “poverty of spirit” is something I often think about, not the good kind related to humility and spoken of in the Bible, but rather one based on a deficit, a spirit of scarcity, envy, despair, and hopelessness. “Learned helplessness,” this keen awareness that the game is rigged, the deck is stacked, and your efforts are completely futile, so why bother.

We didn’t get this way on accident, this is a man made disaster. There is cause and effect going on here. Will we ever learn from our mistakes? Probably not.

As people we all need some sense of dominion, of ownership, the ability to create and innovate, to reap the fruits of our labors. We need to be able to participate in community, too, to willingly take on some accountability for ourselves and others.

Oh my goodness, I’m protected from a great deal of it, but the doxxing, the nastiness, the “I’ll turn you in,” the back biting, is just through the roof. That is so not “community,” that’s relationship dysfunction, violence, hostility, and constant appeals to authority, likely appeals to corrupt authority.

We need Jesus! Yep, as trite as that might sound and as hostile as many people are towards the very notion, He is the one who brings hope. He is the stabilizing, uniting force, and the only cure I’ve ever seen for poverty of spirit.

We won’t be healed by just electing the right people, we need a bottom up, starting with little people, ground swell for Jesus.