It was a warm sunny afternoon as I opened a brown paper sack and began to empty the contents. Here I was, in a Chipotle restaurant, ready to devour my burrito bowl when I noticed something on my to-go bag. It was a quote, in a darker hue of brown than the bag itself, which read, “We will never have a perfect world, but it’s not romantic or naïve to work toward a better one.”
How strange to be motivated by a fast-food bag. I contemplated the quote for the duration of my lunch, and then, decided I could not part with the bag for two reasons:
- I am a sucker for clever advertising, especially when a message strikes you in the most unlikely places;
- The quote resonated with every part of my being.
I can’t tell you how many times during my tenure at the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism people would tell me what they thought the community needed (a Chipotle included). So, what does a burrito bowl have to do with Owatonna?
I was born in Owatonna. I was raised in Owatonna. I attended the public schools. I attended the Steele County Free Fair every summer. And, I swore I would never come back.
Then I came back.
I wanted to give back to Owatonna, and thankfully, my career at the time afforded me the opportunity to do so. Then, I became involved with Owatonna Forward. The ability for Owatonna’s citizens to weigh in and become engaged in the future of our community is motivating and uplifting.
I will admit, I think our community is pretty great as it exists today, but that will not prevent me from working toward a better one. I encourage you to join me in working toward a better Owatonna.
Melanie Sunnarborg is a steward for Owatonna Forward.