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Perspective: Restoring Habitats

Susan Stephens

What do the letters R and E really mean? Most of the time the letters re in front of a word just mean repeat; do it again. After a recount, for example a politician might get re-elected…or not. When we reply or react, we might redact a report or rebut your arguments because they seem ridiculous. (Sorry! I just snuck that one in there).

When we relive something, it can have some almost spiritual, motivational meaning. Think about rejuvenation. Repentance, or reawakening. Rehabilitation. Revival. Reconciliation.

Here’s a popular term these days: Resilience. Child development researchers remind us that with love and support, most children with major problems in their early childhoods can be remarkably resilient. Really. So can entire cities. They not only survive. They thrive.

The point of all this is to introduce you to the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Peru, Illinois. It’s a brilliant reason to re-educate yourself about the power of generosity and rebuilding faith in your fellow men and women. If you are remodeling your house or business, you can donate your old fixtures or furniture. If you’re rebuilding your man cave, you can probably find just what you want for your basement. Or, if you’re retired, you might rediscover meaning in your life by volunteering.

Remember this: the Habitat ReStore. Peru. Repeat after me. Habitat ReStore. Habitat ReStore. Your donations of time and things you don’t need any more can help build new homes with families who otherwise couldn’t afford them. Refreshing, isn’t it?

Got it? Wait! I want to re-record this.

I’m Rick Brooks. And this has been my respectfully submitted Perspective.

Rick Brooks retired after 26 years as an outreach program manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Co-founder of the Little Free Library movement, Rick now lives in Princeton, Illinois and runs Midwest Partners, a civic engagement group.