Everyone has things they’re passionate about. Whether it’s a hobby or an area of study, we find ourselves drawn to learn more about these things every chance we get. I happen to be one of those people who geeks out over our city.
I love Columbia. I love it so much that my two businesses are named after it. I feel very clear that serving this city in any capacity is part of my calling. So, when the day came that I found myself on a patio with Dave Lineberry and Amy Schneider talking about what the CoMo 200 celebration was, I knew this was something my team would really love to be a part of. On the spot, I offered the idea of making the June 2021 issue the CoMo 200 issue, with stories that would complement and highlight all of the great things the task force was working on. We would throw out our usual recipe and dedicate our resources to telling the story of our city.
I will never forget the day I called everyone together to tell them the news. There was more than a little bit of excitement and nervousness — and a bit of “What did I just get us into?” We had already decided our themes for 2021 and published our media kit. It had gone to clients; advertising buys had been made around those themes (RIP Outdoor Issue). However, when I told our team that I had called an audible and we would be changing everything up, they were thrilled. My team shares my love for this city. Asking them to throw out our usual formula and do something we’ve never done before was a challenge they were up to — and they were excited!
For me, this issue is about more than just the chance to tell old stories. It’s about understanding our diverse heritage and all of the things that have happened to bring us to this day with these people. My team is a microcosm of our community. We run the spectrum with our political views, our feelings on faith, our families of origin, and all the other ways in which we could be different. We could have plenty of reasons to be wary of one another. But we aren’t. We look at those differences as opportunities to find common ground. We celebrate each other and lean into the areas where we all want the same thing. We love each other in all of our weird, annoying quirkiness.
I think that is a great reflection for our community. As a city, we have issues to deal with, just like any family. And I know without question that we can continue to build on the efforts of those that have come before us. We can continue to make Columbia a better place every day; it just takes each of us living out our calling. So I leave you with this question: Do you know what your calling is and are you putting your gifts in the game?