I was born and raised in Boston, MA. Not some town right outside of the city limits or a suburb 40 minutes east. I’m a born and bred, tried and true Bostonian. That didn’t always mean something to me. I didn’t always emjoy Boston. The train didn’t run long enough. The winters were always bastardly long and frigid and the summers were disgustingly humid and seemed to leave much more quickly than they’d come.
Sometimes I wished I was from New York, or LA or even Miami. That’s where all the interesting people were from, and if that wasn’t where they were from, that’s where they went. That was where life was lived deliberately, and on a large, fast scale. I found little to admire about a small city that shut down at midnight.
As I’ve learned and as I’ve grown, so has my appreciation for what it means to be a Bostonian. When people think of the American dream now, they think luxury, they think excess, they think affluence, and that’s exactly the problem. The American dream isn’t about selling your soul for a promotion or a summer home in the Hamptons, it’s about a right and commitment to self betterment. And Boston is one of the few major cities that hasn’t lost sight of that.
Boston was where a lust for liberty conceived a nation, and where principles of honesty and discipline laid its foundation. From Charlestown to Dorchester, the values that built this city, and this country, are not only visible, but prominent. Boston is where the American dream was born, and where it is achieved on a daily basis by hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life.
New York, LA, Miami- everyone’s rich because they have to be. They’re beautiful because they have to be. They’re on drugs because they have to be. They live in environments that are defined by self indulgence, superficiality and corruption. Boston is where people come to learn, and where many choose to stay, because as ridiculous as traffic is and as obnoxious as the sports fans are, this is a beautifully simplistic city filled with honest, hardworking, genuine people, and there’s a dignity in that that can’t be bought or found anywhere else.
Of course there are things I’d change about Boston given the opportunity. But this place, for the most part, gets it right, and I think I’m a much better person than I would have been if raised elsewhere because of it.
New York, LA and Miami are all great cities that I’d love to visit any day of the week, and even if I were to end up moving to one of those bustling municipalities, I don’t know if they’d ever be home. While I appreciate the efforts being made by Mayor Walsh to liven up the city, Boston will never be New York, LA or Miami and I wouldn’t have it any other way.