Helper’s Here and Now

Diana Helper
Posted 7/5/18

The past informs the future, and I have decades of “Hindsight,” but hey, this is the Here and Now. It’s July and when we explain to the kids that our forefathers had this idea of Independence …

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Helper’s Here and Now

Posted

The past informs the future, and I have decades of “Hindsight,” but hey, this is the Here and Now. It’s July and when we explain to the kids that our forefathers had this idea of Independence which did not decree we have fireworks, picnics and bike-decorating (though you could call this “pursuit of happiness”). Our forefathers celebrated with gratitude for our new national decrees of independence and our freedoms. Speeches and marching bands! So, kids, remember that as you eat your hotdogs and decorate your bikes and sing along with the band.

We’re wired for Independence! At birth, we want to get out and breathe on our own — The twos! The teens! Out on your own! Then later “I will not give up my car! I will stay in my house!”

Along the way we learn to get along with inter-dependence, accomplishing goals with others, seeing many viewpoints and making decisions, the interconnectedness of everything, everywhere. Our forest fires darken skies far away. Your melted ice sloshes over my porch. Your helping hand saves my life.

In a big-growing city, the City Fathers/Mothers can feel the urge to exercise Independence by making big-city plans, then announcing them. They figure they are experts and know best. It’s a time-saver. Savvy J.Q.Public takes a look and says “Hmm, but that won’t work.” A street to be eliminated, say. City says, “But you can use this other street.” JQ says, “That other street was removed years ago.” City had old aerial map. This turns out to slow the process. Back to the drawing board. Citizens want to be informed early on. Inter-dependence saves time.

If we may segue — and we may! Information is a major reason a great city with great neighborhoods needs a great newspaper. Tens of thousands of citizens want to help the Denver Post be a great daily big city-state newspaper, with plenty of smart local reporters and writers who can be contacted in person if needed. Surely the Governor, Mayor, legislators, council people and businesses all want this! How can folks help? Inform them!

July is Hot. I got hot making a list of projects going on that give me claustrophobia. Gasp! Buildings upon buildings. Higher ever higher. We’re a Mile High to start. How high can a green roof be? Where is the water for all these people? And the power for lights, A/C, the open parkland (not provided by the builder!) Abundant trees? Handy transportation?

Maybe a great city is a smaller, but beautifully balanced city. The city and the people in good health, good spirit, working for liberty and justice. A sustainable city improving life for its people, being an example for this nation and the planet. A harmony of our independence and our inter-dependence. And speaking of harmony, music can lift your heart and brighten your brain. Sing along with the band. Pursue happiness. Picnic, decorate the bike, marvel at the night sky — with or without fireworks.

Diana Helper has written for the Wash Park Profile for 35 of the 63 years she and her husband have lived in Denver. She works on projects with the city, University of Denver, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, Open Space and Parks and Recreation.

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