Preservation Inspiration

After lazy, warm summer days, getting back into the swing of school or a more demanding pace of professional work can seem daunting. Even for those who see preservation as a lifestyle – much more than just a job – the more relaxed feeling of summer is hard to bid adieu. Hopefully you’ve all adjusted to your new school schedules and are excited for the work September brings, in the classroom or the office. In any case, a little inspiration can go a long way, yes?

This leads to me ask: What inspires you? What gets you excited for your schoolwork, your job, your volunteer activities? What reminds you that historic preservation is a field meant for you (or any field, if you work in another)?

Do you have a favorite quote? Maybe hearing success stories inspires you to keep going and keep believing in preservation. Or is the start of a new school with everyone full excitement what gets your preservation zest going?

One of my favorite quotes is still by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” I’ve seen this quote applied in many different scenarios, but to me it has always said that everyone and everything can make a difference. As preservationists, we care about our built environment and our quality of life in the past, present and future.

And, of course, a certain flock of flamingos provides plenty of inspiration, too. So what is your go-to inspiration? Care to share it in the comments? And while we’re talking a faster pace of work and more seriousness of work, do you have anything you’d like Preservation in Pink to discuss? What topics interest you in preservation?

City Hall in Montpelier, VT. It is also home of the Lost Nation Theater. A multi-use building with many historic details intact provides good preservation inspiration.

My Constant Inspiration

“Never doubt that a group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  -Margaret Mead

I read this quote at the San Diego Zoo last August. As cliche as this may sound, immediately I knew that it would be a permanent theme/mantra to follow in my life.  It echoes most of my favorite topics from at the very beginning to combining disciplines.  This quote actually appeared on an exhibit next to the gorillas at the zoo and it talked about recycling cell phones.  Yet, the wording is timeless.  I have not read anything by Margaret Mead.  In fact, I shamefully admit that I only know her as an anthropologist; but, I’d place a bet that she understood the connectivity of the world as well as the importance.  [Her readings are on my list.]  If you have ever received an email from me, you will see this quote on the bottom of it.  So far, I have not found a more appropriate quote with which to replace it.

In previous posts, I have discussed my own theories of interdisciplinary collaboration, so I will not belabor the issue.  But, I hope as we all meet different people we further understand the need for communication and the combination of even related fields like historic preservation, anthropology, archaeology, urban planning, business…practically any field. Even the various branches of historic preservation (folklore & oral  history, restoration, rehabilitation, museum studies) need to be more involved with each other than they currently are. 

We may all know that this is true, but do we really understand how to begin connecting with other fields?  I do not claim to have the answer, but perhaps we can develop one together.  The first step is understanding and valuing what other people are researching, accomplishing, and listening to ideas and goals.  This can be realized through education, conversation, and a general interest.  Someone out there: field the next step, please.

[If you are looking for a point in this post, it’s mostly to re-introduce this quote and remind each other about always keeping our minds open.]  Any other favorite quotes out there?