This summer I am reminded why our Renaissance is gaining strength—our compassion for others is growing day by day. As I walked by Riverfront Park’s construction, it occurred to me that one recent awakening occurred when we collectively came together and shouted a unified “YES” to beautify our central gathering place.
A common thread in our progress is our compassion for each other. Indeed, even with our population growth, Spokane has never lost its small-town, neighborly feel. For example, as Kendall Yards expands, welcoming new residents, its calling card remains its welcoming community feel, epitomized by the late-summer celebration Porchfest, where neighbors and friends come together to enjoy musical treats.
Local projects abound where visionary leaders find a means to do more for others. The always-caring YWCA and other efforts in the area focus on housing families together to the extent possible so that children can stay with a parent. Likewise, Airway Heights was beset with a contaminated water crisis recently, which in other places could have led to animosity and strife. No doubt the stress on citizens was extreme, but our community rallied with airmen and citizens working hand-in-hand to help each other. Caring was the watchword for all.
Leadership Spokane graduated its 1,276th adult graduate this past month and 625th high school youth graduate. As we reflect on the 1,500 service hours completed by both classes and our excellent alumni, it was clear that our leaders were driven by empathy for the plight of others, and by a passion to help make others’ lives better. Beyond the innovation and educational excellence fueling our Renaissance, the core of our community’s recent good feeling is compassion. Spokane’s Renaissance agrees with Robert Ingersoll: “We rise by lifting others.”
Col. Brian Newberry, USAF ret. is the executive director of Leadership Spokane and former Commander, 92 ARW, Fairchild AFB.