Boston Magazine reported a list of the 100 Most Influential People in Boston Right Now, recognizing Jim Smith at Number 26. Who Will Lead the Way? (April 28, 2020)
IN TIMES OF CRISIS, a city naturally turns to its leaders. We tune into press conferences; we watch TV interviews; we follow the essential Twitter feeds. As you’ll see throughout this year’s list, many of Boston’s most influential people are stepping up as the novel coronavirus ravages our health, our economy, and the very fabric of our society.
But for all that our politicians, philanthropists, and business moguls can do, they will not decide Boston’s fate. Not this time. Who will? The parent, cooped up with schoolchildren, taking over as teacher. The nursing assistant trekking into the city for a 10-hour shift. The neighbor dropping off groceries for an elderly resident. During these unprecedented days, we are all individually mighty, responsible for keeping work, family, and friends together even as the world around us plunges into the unknown.
At the same time, we must not forget that the influence we collectively hold in our hands is much greater than any one person’s contributions, heroic as they are. As we enter the third month of this pandemic, the future of the region, and the world, seems less certain than ever, dependent solely on our unified will to hunker down and do what is necessary to stop the contagion: stay home. Bostonians, of course, are better equipped than most for the hard road to recovery that lies before us. Grit and ingenuity, after all, were practically invented here. Hopefully, we can draw on those strengths to help flatten the curve of new cases while the area’s bleeding-edge scientists race to develop a cure.
Whatever has happened by the time you read this, one thing is clear: The city of Boston is forever changed. Now it’s up to us — all of us — to decide how we move forward. If the past is any indication, we’ll turn our darkest hour into our finest moment the only way we can: together.
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