The Ventriloquist

An online publication at and outside the boundary of evangelical Christianity.

Tuesday

28

February 2012

Springfield, OH Voted 'Unhappiest City in America'

by Kimberly Prijatel, on February 2012, Local

A recent Gallup poll revealed Springfield, OH is the saddest city in America. According to Gallup officials, analysts gathered information over a three year period by calling 1,000 people a day to ask about their emotional/physical health, work environment, basic access to food, shelter and health care. When the polling group gathered 1 million surveys in October 2010, they examined the nation-wide trends in the 357 geographic statistical areas. In an interview with the Springfield News-Sun, Michael McDorman, president and CEO of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce questioned the label. “That’s not the community I see,” McDorman said. “That’s not the community the region sees.” Bible professor Dr. Joy Fagan states that she is a happy resident of Springfield, despite its challenges and difficulties. Many of Springfield’s challenges--foreclosures, poverty, and boarded up homes--are problems found in many other cities. Those who have lived in Springfield since the mid-20th century have witnessed a discouraging decline from rich industry days to abandoned buildings, poverty and job loss. What we need, Fagan states, is a galvanizing impetus. One that would encourage people to see the city “holistically.” For Fagan, that means recognizing the city’s challenges from substance abuse to prostitution, alongside the city’s strengths as a place filled with people, non-profits, churches, local commerce and culture. While such polls and listings can tend toward fluidity, it is still significant that a city chosen in 2004 as an “All-American city” by Time with a population of 60 thousand a mere 13 miles from our town of Cedarville has made national headlines for depression. Ultimately, if the Gallup poll is correct, Fagan states, let’s do something about it: “Let’s pick up trash, support and volunteer at local ministries, advocate for city needs in our local churches, support local business, look people in the eyes and greet them with a smile, treating each other with dignity even when we don’t always deserve it, and shop at the Kroger’s on south Limestone more often.”