The Grand Vision has shown me that the people of this region love it here and have a commitment to building a better future. We care about what happens here and we care about the future.
My main concern is that we sometimes forget about all things we hold in common and focus more on what keeps us apart. I worry that we focus more on personalities than principles. We have forgotten that disagreement and disrespect are two very different words. The world is only going to get more complex.
We can only achieve a better future if we learn to listen to each other and find solutions that work for everyone's benefit. My biggest hope for the future is that we learn how to do this.
Here are my other hopes for our home in 2159:
-- The region will be prosperous.
-- There will good employment opportunities for everyone.
-- Inventors and entrepreneurs will still thrive here.
-- Rich natural resources, scenic beauty and a thriving arts community will distinguish this region.
-- The transportation system will be green and efficient and connect to the rest of the world.
-- Beautiful cities and villages will house people of all income levels.
-- The region will be more self-reliant, producing more local food and products.
-- The community and its leadership will be more diverse.
-- There will be a regional governmental system.
-- There will be increased educational opportunities at every level.
Marsha Smith is executive director of Rotary Charities, of Traverse City. She recently chaired the Public Involvement Committee of the Grand Vision and currently is involved in beginning the implementation of this citizen-driven 50-year vision.