Day 73

“Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.” (Proverbs 11:11)

The city of Bradford, where I live, has had its share of setbacks over the years. Negative press and a poor self image have done nothing to stop the all encompassing negativity which all local Bradfordians seem to possess. It’s part of their charm. Not only are they a “glass half empty” people, but the glass will probably fall off the table anyway.

But they are kind at heart and beneath that hard shell of stoicism lies a warm and soft centre. Just don’t let them know that you’ve spotted it!

A hundred years ago Bradford was thriving and growing faster than just about any city in the north of England.

So what went wrong? Mainly the cloth trade, upon which most of the fortunes were made, moved away. And while other cities suffered in the same way, they seem to have weathered the decline better than Bradford.

Dare I mention Leeds? I find it amusing that some people in Bradford have a real issue with their neighbours in Leeds, a city which is less than ten miles away.

Why is this? What has Leeds done to offend the citizens of Bradford? They have been successful. The wool and cloth trade was only a part of Leeds’ industrial heritage. There was mining as well as heavy engineering. Leeds did not have all its prosperity tied to just one trade. And as Bradford’s mills fell silent one by one and the rot set in, Leeds continued to grow and change.

I’m simplifying it, of course, but leap forward back to the present day and Leeds is one of the most properous cities in the north of England.

So the point I’m getting at here is this: the people of Bradford will prosper again. They need to talk more of hope and a better future. Stop being so negative and look for a brighter day to come. It worked for Leeds and it can work for you too.

Sometimes that glass really IS half full!

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