As I begin work on the next issue of Preservation in Pink I look back on one of my favorite emails. This email alludes to quality of life and sense of place, but it is important to remember that buildings, landscape, history, folkore, planning – all pieces of preservation fall under quality of life and sense of place. This is why the topics addressed here; it’s all connected. The author of this email wrote to me during one of those periods of time when my non-preservation major friends just didn’t understand (or respect) what I wanted to do. Here is something that continues to keep me motivated.
“I think a lot of people take the past for granted. everyone has this live for today attitude, but what’s the point of living for today if it won’t mean anything to you tomorrow? This is the reason why the world’s in the shape that it’s in. No one cares about anything anymore, except immediate satisfaction. That’s kind of a loaded statement – not everyone, just a lot of people, probably most. I won’t go off on this tangent because you’ve heard it all before. but we need people like you in the world. People to remind us of the values of past generations and our own heritage, people to tell us that things can be better, people to stop the Wal-Marts and the Best Buys. Otherwise, this world would be one giant corporate mass and everything that our grandparents and great- grandparents worked so hard for would be completely lost. I feel like they are ashamed of the state of the world right now. Because of you, I’ll never give Wal-Mart another cent of my money and lately I always consider whether or not I can buy something from a small business before I buy it from a corporation. Maybe I’m just one person, but that makes a difference, and that’s because of you. Without people like you, what will happen to the countrysides and the small towns and the independent business owners? Isn’t that the american dream? The self made man or woman? I worry that it might not exist soon. We’re watching a way of life fade away, and we need people to protect that because people like me don’t want to live in a world of Starbucks, McDonalds and Wal-Mart. Thank you for doing what you do. Trust me, your major is important, even if everyone doesn’t think so.”