My dad always told me to be nice to the janitors (custodian is more pc now). I give him credit for instilling this philosophy in me – because I took it seriously. This may sound like a corny philosophy, but it is why I am the way I am (besides large amounts of caffeine). When I was a young teacher, I always befriended the janitor & believe me, my classroom was always the cleanest. He was trying to teach me that nobody is better than someone else, to treat everyone with respect and you will reap the benefits of good relationships.
It is the way of the world to think of ourselves as different – well we all are (thank goodness – imagine 1,000 of me – UGH!!!). In a place once filled with the highest percentage of long time locals, the “don’t belongs” or the “you are not from here” attitude can be devastating to the rebirth of New Orleans and its’ surrounding communities. The “don’t belongs” and the “not from here” community has been added to the great big pot of New Orleans gumbo. Who is a local anymore and does it really matter? If we want to live and work here, in my mind we may be newbies, but we are local newbies. This goes out to the Hispanic population and whoever wants to come to this land of opportunity! Pull up a seat and stay a while and you will never want to leave! The culture is alive and well and we are just adding some different spices to the pot!
sidenote: Big kudos to the Times-Picayune for the good news story on the Sunday front page. Now that is what I have been talking about for the past 7 months – good news and positive stories. You think someone at the newspaper was listening to me?
(c/p at NOLA.com)