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Energy Transformation in an Urban Community

Let's examine Minneapolis, specifically downtown (be it Nicollet or 1st Ave), for its ability to transform. From the days of horse and buggy to the nights of Escalade limos, Minneapolis has always seemed to be where it's at, as they say. I believe that Minneapolis, as well as other urban communities alike, has/have the distinct ability to transform good and bad energy. Undoubtedly, in downtown, any girl can feel as though she were Mary Tyler Moore, joyously spinning round and round without a care. But just five minutes later, someone cheapens our dream by asking for $1.50 to get home for the night. Is this a flaw in society, did someone push a wrong button somewhere? This crucial moment forces us to ask, does our urban community have the ability to permeate through ideas about right and wrong, good or bad, useful, useless?

Watching the people go about their business on a Monday morning at 9:00 A.M. is quite interesting. Not good, not bad; simply eye-opening. I find myself judging people, not on purpose mind you, but the feeling is still there. Is that woman really homeless? Why does that grumpy suit walk around like he owns the place? I find that it's all a part of a system, we all have our place. On this day, I was probably viewed as the random chick on the bench who watches people. Creepy, right? Maybe, but my place was still important. If I hadn’t taken that step to be the person on the bench, I may have never noticed how our treatment towards one another affects this “energy system? in which we operate. If we don't have positions such as this, with respect to Goldsworthy's attentiveness, we can never find what's underneath.

We must understand that, when it comes to the idea of people being carriers of energy in a system, the carriers have the power. The system does not. The flow of energy can't be stopped, but it can be transformed. All of us, in our respective positions, need to carry good energy to flush out the bad. A so-called negative energy (i.e. corruption, homelessness, cruelty) doesn't get flushed out in our city of Minneapolis. We just neglect the energy and move on. By now, though, I think it's quite ignorant to avoid Newton's Law---energy can't be destroyed. So, while we go on with our days of neglecting the bad energy, it doesn't go away, it doesn't get destroyed. It sits, accumulating like a sticky, Minnesotan snowball. Eventually, it's like that itch in the back of your throat you can't reach. Eventually, we forget to even look for it or see it. But as we all know, just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. So as I look at this idea of transforming energy from year to year, person to person, useless to useful, take your position. Be the creepy person on the bench who observes people, systems, energy flow. Because one day, that sticky snowball is going to run us good energy kids out of business.

I know that many of us feel as though we can have no impact on the world, that we don’t really have the ability to change things. A mentor once gave this comparison: if you were sitting in seat 12A on a crashing airplane, it’s your responsibility to get your oxygen mask on as well as seat 12B’s. It’s not, however, your responsibility to get seat 54C’s mask on. You see, by reaching out to the people we encounter, we can start to transform bad energy (or sticky, neglected energy) into good energy. I’m not saying Minneapolis isn’t a great place to live, because it is a great place to live. I’m saying that, in order to keep our system in equilibrium, we need to put our oxygen masks on and breathe. Help others to breathe, or help others to get home at night. Goldworthy’s attention to detail and intricacies in nature can give us inspiration to be sensitive to the ebb and flow of our own environment—be it downtown or otherwise. Let us not see the homeless man or woman on the street as a mishap in our system or a flaw in society. But let us just be compassionate enough to care about the sticky, neglected energy that they hold…and to transform it to a healthy, good energy which can sustain our environment and system so much more efficiently than we ever could on our own.

For photo of neglected energy: