I wanted to comment on two recent items that made news in South Boston. Last week as I read that half-page thank you from the folks behind the Michael Joyce Memorial Playground (in the April 28 issue of South Boston Online), I was struck with the irony that the community forces behind this park amplified everything that Michael Joyce lived his life for, which was his neighborhood. He understood yesterday, was concerned about Southie’s future and wanted to be a part of today too.
The quote at the top of this half-page notice said it all: “All of us are born for a reason though some of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
All of us have the capacity to be a Michael Joyce, most of us don’t. We find connectedness with others not often that easy. The lucky ones like Joyce enjoy living their lives with others and about others.
A playground filled with life and laughter is such an appropriate venue to remember a figure in the community who is remembered.
The other news story concerned the community deciding to stand up to a chain coffee shop coming into the community. South Boston residents could have just sat back and ended up with this coffee shop or they could fight it. The community chose to fight and won. Thus giving others in the community an example how we don’t just live in our houses, we live in our communities. All of us together.
Thinking about the coffee shop debate and the legacy left behind by Michael Joyce shows that we are all born for a reason and finding that reason could be as simple as helping to strengthen your community one coffee shop at a time. Or just looking out for the best interests of your community, which eventually you will pass on to those yet to be here.