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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

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Cowboy Joe was telling his fellow cowboys back on the ranch about his first visit to a big-city church. “When I got there, they had me park my old truck in the corral,” Joe began. “You mean the parking lot,” interrupted Charlie, a more-worldly ranch hand.

“I walked up the trail to the door,” Joe continued. “The sidewalk to the door,” Charlie corrected him. “Inside the door, I was met by this feller,” Joe went on. “That would be the usher,” Charlie explained. “Well, the usher led me down the chute,” Joe said. “You mean the aisle,” Charlie said. “Then, he led me to a stall and told me to sit there,” Joe continued. “Pew,” Charlie retorted. “Yeah, Charlie how’d you know that’s exactly what the lady said when I sat down beside her.”

The clash of cultures is all around us—we hear it all the time, but is there really a clash. Paulo Coelho disagrees “About the idea of a clash between cultures— I don’t believe in it. It’s something some political leaders tried to use, and that the media tried and are still trying to sell us, in order to simplify the world and their work.”

His opinion struck me– maybe he is right. I went on to read in his blog finding this analogy:

A lecturer who began a seminar holding up a one dollar bill, and asking:

– Who wants this dollar bill?

Several hands went up, but the lecturer said:

– Before handing it over, there’s something I must do.

He furiously crushed it, and asked again:

– Who still wants this bill?

The hands continued raised.

– And what if I do this?

He threw it against the wall, letting it fall to the floor, kicked it, stamped in it and again held up the bill – all dirty and crumpled. He repeated the question, and the hands continued to be held high.

– You mustn’t ever forget this scene – said the lecturer. – No matter what I do with this money, it’ll still be a one dollar bill.

We have a lot of diversity in Tama County, but as Coelho points out we do not have a clash of cultures. We are Iowans, Americans; we need to remember that the next time someone tries to separate us with labels.

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