“My City may bend, but it will not break!”

Play if you wish:

After having some cereal and tea I went for a 10 mile run on the moors.

In a few hours I’d be catching the train to head to the college. I had heard so many things about Bradford and was anxious to see the place for myself. I came back from my run, did my normal routine, had some eggs and toast and got dressed.

Bradford College is situated in the city-centre of Bradford, which is located in the foothills of the Pennines. Since Bradford is located where it is, it is known for having extremely soft water. This natural resource was actually the fuel which led Bradford to be known as the wool capital of the world (once upon a time).

In the 1950s the city underwent high levels of immigration from Kashmir and is now known, in sociological terms, as a ‘parallel community’: the population is effectively segregated along ethnic, cultural and faith lines.

Based on what people were telling me, I expected something in between The Projects and some tribal nest of indigenous people that would rip me limb-to-limb the moment I spoke.

I got off the train, turned left, went up the cobblestone hill and made my way through this old Victorian city. I’ll admit, I felt a certain sense of despondence. There was this sort of tension that I don’t even feel walking the streets of midtown Manhattan or when leaving my downtown condo in Toronto (the most multi-cultural city in the world).

Maybe it’s because of the disunity…
Maybe it’s because of the lack of respect between people…
Maybe it’s…

Whatever the “maybe” is, I’m excited to see what I can contribute to Bradford College.

The perception Bradford has is not an objective truth. It is simply the personal perception that was formed by someone else. Could you imagine if we formed our own subjective opinions without personal experience and participation?

I ended up having a great meeting with some of the folks I’ll be working with and they seem to be on the same page.

I’m going to be working with a committed group of people and my hope is that by the end of these 4 months we’ll be able to establish an Athletics Academy that will provide an opportunity for the students at Bradford college and university to recognize their athletic potential and continue to want to pursue their potential in the years to come.

I left with a certain bounce in my step.

As I walked past City Hall, this beautiful Victorian character which is at the heart of the city, I could hear it say, “My City may bend, but it will not break!”

Categories: bleak and beautiful, Existential Ideas


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6 Comments on ““My City may bend, but it will not break!””

  1. Luciano Del monte
    September 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    This post inspires me to do something for the world I live and participate in. You reminded me of what a dude named Jeremiah said 1000s of years ago when a bunch of his country men and women were exiled to a foreign land, ‘Seek the welfare of city…do good…make a positive difference where you are not where you are not.

    From afar,

  2. Eric
    September 9, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    Could you imagine if we formed our own subjective opinions without personal experience and participation?

    You’re spot on, Michael. the first step is to listen, ask questions, then listen more. And as your Dad said, Jer. 29:7 “Seek the welfare of the city….”

    Am eager to see your vision for the Athletics Academy fulfilled!

  3. September 10, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    Thanks for the comments.

    Belief really is the easiest thing in the world.

    We’re all looking for either something to believe or someone who says something that justifies our belief in order to validate our existence and meaning.

    That is exactly what is going on here.

    Take for instance our perspective of X country in Africa. We WANT to believe that they are unenlightened and suffering, dying and miserable. We WANT to feel sorry for them because it means NOT feeling sorry for OUR situation…

    It’s easier to believe something about someone else instead of doubting something about ourselves.

  4. Eric
    September 10, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    It’s easier to belief something about someone else instead of doubting something about ourselves.

    Agreed. Seems we do this with God Himself too!

  5. September 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Thank you to Rosetta for introducing me to you. You will never see life like you do right now. You will never live life like you do right now. Be yourself. You are wonderful and inspirational and focussed.

    We pray for your safety and your success in whatever you do daily. You are in God’s hands and with him, you will experience cities and build cities of your own.

    • September 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

      that is some benediction. thank you elizabeth.

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