Introduction to Our December 2021 Magazine

By John Grossi

*Publisher's Note*

Believing is Seeing


As we wrap up another wonderful magazine, which we proudly present in the pages to follow, I can’t help but note how pleasantly perfect our theme fits for this time and place. This time right now. This place right here.


We are in that magical season where everywhere you look and everywhere you go, the people and media, music, movies, advertisements, and traditions, all remind us of that old adage:


“Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.”


We don’t all believe in the same thing, but we do all believe in something. Whether it’s a person, an energy, government ideology, a code of morals; a loved one, loving feelings, a way of thinking; a job, friendship, sense of duty, a presence of mind; a future reality, a burning candle, a future harvest, or a savior; there is a belief in something better, something that keeps us going each day, through the trials and tribulations of daily life.


The holiday season is one of the greatest reminders of what we can achieve when we believe. As the weather gets colder and the days grow shorter, as the crops and plants die around us and we prepare for the bleakest months of the year, we as a human race convince ourselves it’s the “most wonderful time of the year!” Lol. It’s kind of comical to think about. Yet it works. We gather with friends, family, community groups, and neighbors and we believe in “Happy Holidays,” and thus, we make them so.


There’s Something Different About Long Beach


I’ve got my own, similar adage, that I’m reminded of with each new magazine issue and with each new theme Long Beach 908 explores. It certainly guides our magazine, and perhaps you agree:


There’s something different about Long Beach.


I can’t necessarily explain it rationally or fully, nor do I have real, infallible evidence, but I do know others agree. I have local anecdotes, and I share them each issue.


I also know national news could evaluate our city through any handful of metrics, and I’m sure find the same problems in Long Beach as they do in other cities of similar size across the nation. Homelessness, violence, poverty, and depression are unfortunately, here, there, and everywhere.


Yet, I’m convinced, there’s something different about Long Beach. And the people you’ll read about in the pages that follow provide a major support for my case.


In this issue, we highlighted non-profit organizations making a difference in our community. Long Beach is home to hundreds of non-profits; we could not cover all of them. Some are big, others small, but all are real. Real organizations run by your neighbors and friends, right here locally, each with the goal of directing as much time, money, and energy as possible toward a problem they see in our community.


This magazine highlights 25 stories of local triumph over problems that face our community, through the lens of people who have been helped. However, what this magazine really highlights is the power of belief that there’s something different about Long Beach.


Every volunteer, donor, founder, and employee at these non-profits believes more in their ability to solve problems than in the problems themselves. Rather than complaining about intractable issues, the “doers” daily combat our community’s needs the best they can, with the resources they have. As a result, real people’s lives are improved.


You can argue that all the same problems still exist... homelessness, violence, poverty, and depression... but you can’t deny that the people and organizations profiled herein aren’t making things better, at least in some little way.


***


By believing in the “most wonderful time of the year,” we force ourselves to remain thankful for what we have during the holiday season, and do our best to give to those who have not - through toy drives, hot meals, and charitable donations.


My hope is that the more we believe “Life is Great in the 908,” the more we will appreciate everything our community has to offer, but also take action to lift it up where we can. “Life is Great in the 908” is not a fact, rather it’s something we must believe in and work toward.


Like putting up decorative lights during the darkest month of the year, when an entire community believes and chips in, the results can be wonderful.


Life is Great in the 908,

John Grossi