Welcome back from Rapid Growth: A message for 2019

Publisher Tommy Allen and Managing Editor Lauren Fay Carlson welcome you back with their thoughts for 2019.
Tommy Allen, Publisher

The new year is often a time of resolutions and promises of a better year ahead. But in all honesty, statistics are clear that resolutions fail too quickly and history is honestly something that bends often to no one person’s will.

As we return to the helm of Rapid Growth, we do so with the wisdom of our past and how that past often informs how we will operate within the present tension of living that ushers us to the future. 

Moving into 2019, rather than sharing resolutions, we decided it might be a great opportunity to add new challenges that get to the soul of our city. With this in mind, let’s step away from our glowing screens and embrace the power of human face-to-face dialogue to propel all of us forward. 

And should one not know how to start, then let us suggest an easy-to-enact first step. 

By far the easiest way I have encountered to do this is to simply adopt a local restaurant, a place of worship, or a city park close to where you call home. There is real power in blooming where you are planted, so start there. 

And while we know this first step might place you in the proverbial choir loft, I am guessing pretty soon — and with a little listening — you will quickly begin to observe a plethora of life experiences that make all of our differences actually something quite beautiful and unique.

Rapid Growth wishes everyone a great new start and a hearty thank you for all your years of readership and healthy interaction. 



Lauren Fay Carlson, Managing Editor

It never fails. At the start of each new year, the verbal declaration of the number always feels a tad foreign on the tongue. It’s 2019! It’s 2019. It’s 2019. Ok, I think that’s out of my system now.
 
But there is something to be said about being flabbergasted by change, whether the shift is good, bad, or neutral. I myself was pleasantly surprised at being hired in 2017 as the Managing Editor for Rapid Growth, a publication that has been making waves in the community since 2006. To be a part of journalism that seeks to highlight change makers and community solutions felt really special then … and still does now.
 
But it’s never enough to simply define oneself and rest on our laurels, or recognition of achievements in the past. We must continually press forward, allowing reinvention, and welcoming those of different backgrounds, with different voices, languages, and perspectives. Because we, even here in Grand Rapids, are a very diverse people.
 
As I settle my spreadsheets and look up from my laptop in the coming weeks and months, I hope and intend to keep improving as a publication that taps into the roots of the community while also looking toward the future. In our features, in our photos, and in our layouts, we are working to make change.
 
And that’s why, this year in particular, we will seek to feature more unfiltered opinions of community leaders owning and transforming their own spaces in the form of Rapid Blog. These community-sourced op-ed essays allow for a deep dive in the pressing issues on the ground in Grand Rapids from voices who are authorities in their fields of study or practice. So join us in our efforts to become a true, heartfelt, and diverse reflection of our little big city.
 
If you’re interested in writing a Rapid Blog, you can email me directly at laurenrapidgrowth@gmail.com.
 
We’re so excited to hear what you have to say in this new year.

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