News of Detroit's bankruptcy filing (no surprise to anyone breathing in the last ten years) reminds me of what a neighbor once told me: you have to go down before going up. He was referring to a local community (not Detroit) that had to face up to its social problems before making any progress in dealing with them.
We see this path of going down before going up in both communities and individuals finally facing longstanding problems after years of ignoring them. I think of friends who have found a turning point in their lives after getting a DUI and finally facing up to some very personally challenging issues.
In defeat and loss, we often finally come face to face with reality and are able to take concrete action to improve our circumstances. Detroit is finally taking that path. There is an old lesson in that for all of us: whoever loses his life will save it; whoever seeks to save appearances at all costs, even to the point of denial and self-deception, will lose his life.
(Seal of Detroit in public domain; Latin mottoes: "We hope for better things; she will rise again from the ashes")