Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

How can we show our commitment to Detroit's future?

Detroiters always talk about Detroit - whether that's in the city limits or an another state, like Robyn and I just did with an expat Detroiter living in New Orleans. I actually love talking about Detroit, but why don't we talk about deeper things? In fact, what makes anyone want to talk about deeper things like ideas and beliefs? Our friend Laxmi - also an expat Detroiter -  had an interesting insight into this question because of her experience living in NOLA for the past year. Her logic goes like this, roughly:

An ability to talk about deeper things <--- Trust <---- Time to get to know people <---- Demonstrated commitment to the place in which you are living

I'm paraphrasing the lovely conversation the three of us had, but the gist is that an ability to talk about deeper things with folks in your community you have to demonstrate commitment to the place you are living; deep dialogue implies demonstrated commitment. So, how do you do that? Really...what are your ideas?


Here's the reason why I present the question. I don't really know of many ways we demonstrate commitment as Detroiters. What are little (or big) ways we can or already do that? How does one show commitment to a place and an intent to make it better for the long haul?

If we can start to create opportunities for that, I think we'll eventually be able to have much more deeply connected community in Detroit, because we'll have more "real talk". If it'll take a village to make Detroit into a great, 21st century city, it'll take deep conversations in the public sphere. Based on the logic above, that starts with demonstrating commitment.