Indiana's Cultural Tourism Conference was held on Monday in Merrillville. Since it was a short jaunt down the road, and I thought it would be good exposure to thoughts and ideas about promoting the Michigan Road and other projects I am involved in, I took the day and spent it listening to heritage and cultural tourism cheerleaders.
There were a number of messages about how to promote and market yourself, but the over-riding theme was find what makes you unique and tell the story. My mind drifted into the stories to tell from my hometown and across the state. Some places do a great job with this. We just don't.
There is something to be said of a society that is wise enough to look inside itself and celebrate the cultural heritage that has been left to them. I think that there is something even bigger to be said of a society that is blinded to its past, its' lack of depth, and the rather vanilla appearance of its place. We are missing opportunities left and right to develop the quality of life that people want. It just takes forward thinkers and good leadership to deliver it-something we seem to run from. I coined the term "brain flush" several weeks ago to describe not the accidental loss of our brightest and best, but the deliberate disposal of quality people.
Certainly not to wallow in doom and gloom, I should point out that there are several refreshing locations across our state-maybe in the most unexpected places-that "get it". It's a joy and an honor to talk and work with Hoosiers of that caliber. And if I could give Hoosier Happenings a giant pat on the back, when this blog was started almost three years ago I wanted to celebrate our culture-to tell the story of what makes us unique as Hoosiers. With nearly 700 posts under our belt, I think we've been pretty successful in doing just that. And by reading all this dribble, you are as much a contributor to the discovery as I am.