With all the reports of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin approaching a $50,000 price per coin, I finally had the thought, “What if I would have bought some Bitcoin before everyone else realized how valuable it would be?” As the thought settled in, I began to contemplate what similar opportunities I may have in my life. Stocks? Nope—I appreciate the stock market, but I don’t have any unique insights into what might be the next Tesla (Elon Musk, if you are reading this, feel free to share with me any wisdom you have in this regard.) Inventions? Despite my environmental sciences and business degrees, I don’t currently have any prospects for obtaining a patent on the next-great cheese dispenser or some other world-changing device. I don’t know how to write software code, so success in that space also seemed unlikely. Since no immediate answer emerged, I put the question out of my head
As I’ve often found when contemplating difficult questions, the answer seemed to later appear as if by magic: Jacksonville is my Bitcoin. You see, I grew up in Jacksonville, born and raised. I had numerous opportunities to move away, but I chose Jacksonville. I saw the potential, to raise a family here, to thrive here. Fast forward, and I am a happy and blessed husband and father of 3 amazing children. I couldn’t have known then how it would turn out, but I had a good feeling and we placed a bet on this community. Our investment here has been wildly successful. My wife and children have built deep, meaningful friendships with people who care about us the way we care about them. We have the support and love of family who live nearby. Our children are involved in our church and local activities running all over town for soccer, basketball, gymnastics, swimming and cheerleading to name just a few. And I’ve been able to find meaningful work, volunteer in the community, and live in a great neighborhood. It’s hard to quantify that kind of return, but I can’t think of a better investment we’ve made than choosing to water our roots and keep the First Coast our home.
Some of you will read this and think, “oh, but Jacksonville could have more of this, or less of that.” Sure, every community can always do better. We are improving every day. In Florida, I think Jacksonville is the gem that hasn’t been fully discovered. For those of us who live here, we get to enjoy its shine all the time.
Am I cheerleading a bit for my hometown? Yes—and why not? People who invest in Bitcoin presumably do so because they believe in it. I believe in Jacksonville and the First Coast.