Dear New Brunswick:
I am ashamed to tell you that people have been saying terrible things today, my love. They say you’ve made so many ill-thought decisions, leaving you poor and without status in our country and in the world.
I should leave you, they say.
I have wasted enough of my youth, my talents and my skills here with you and they warn me that opportunity and prosperity will elude our children.
And, oh! We had such an argument yesterday. “If New Brunswick would only do this or that,” they told me, “you would be so much better off. But N.B. is so stubborn and backward and parochial compared to the rest of us. Please, give up the situation and come away, my dear. Come away.”
I hope you do not see it as a betrayal to admit that the thought has crossed my mind, though I would never admit it to them. They almost convinced me once or twice, for I’m sure you would allow that you are not as you once were.
Yet my passion convinces me that there is greatness in you! Long before our country’s joining, your city of Saint John was a bustling metropolis amid a rural landscape and its deep-water port was second in importance only to New York City. It was the economic engine of a colony that had relatively little debt and a mutually-beneficial trading relationship with the United States.
Our joining to the other colonies changed all that. The new arrangement didn’t benefit us as much as others in the union. (Of course, that’s another argument, my love. And I know you would remind me that it is hardly useful, anyway.)
Nevertheless, my friends and family say there is no point in looking longingly at the past. They say you’ve used up all those old resources and you won’t try anything new. You refuse to change.
Though their stinging arguments may have some truth, I believe they may be tainted with self-interest. What we accomplish begins with our attitude and I know that you are as entrepreneurial and innovative now as you were so many years ago. Though you’ve fallen upon hard times, either because of your own decisions or the decisions that have been foisted upon you, I know you have the power to rise above them.
I love you so much—in the past, I’ve tried to abandon those feelings out of frustration, but I’ve decided to own them. In every way you are beautiful to me. I wish I could make you understand how much you’ve taught me about life and human nature and what it means to be humble and capable at the same time. I experienced all the most important lessons of my life here with you.
I want you to know that I believe in you. My own unique perspective comes from knowing you all my life—everything good, everything bad.
In other words, I’m not here just because I have nowhere else to go.
I warn you that meeting your potential won’t be easy because it is predicated on what you think and say about yourself. Do you believe you can rise far above any level of success you had before? Or do you give yourself permission to quit trying? This, darling, is not something I can do for you. You must do it for yourself. Only you can determine to focus on the positives and meet the future with the resourcefulness that I know dwells within you.
Make them sorry they misjudged you, my love.
All my best,