This post was originally crafted to be shared as a post to my Facebook friends. Yet as fate would have it, once I put my fingers to the keyboard… the message of compassion emerged. And this called for a different space. I hope you enjoy a walk through part of my memory lane, as we explore the city that still holds a very near and dear place in my heart.

Pittsburgh, here we are!

While our intention was to grab a coffee & walk around the Strip District (market area if you’re not familiar), my feet headed to “dahntahn.” (I can’t resist the urge for a little Pittsburghese.)

We strolled through the Cultural District, a historical area filled with beautiful architectural wonders, and then to the convergence of Penn, Liberty, and Stanwix Street. There I captured a picture of the ill-fated location that most certainly changed my life, greatly diminished my finances, and led to the end of my career (thank goodness there, though a less painful path would have been welcomed).

An Ill-Fated Accident

Word to the wise. Do NOT put athletic shoes on to ‘safely’ walk to the bus stop during an ice storm! 10 feet from the bus stop, a sidewalk with a chiseled crossing ramp, dusk, and ice. A disaster waiting to happen. It was only through the greatest of graces that I did not crack open my head. Though I did hurt just about every other part of my body and incurred significant injuries that impact my everyday life, nearly twenty years later.

There were so many accidents and gridlock traffic, that though I was in contact with medical personnel, the ambulance never did get to me. My husband of just over one week managed to get to where I fell 1 ½ hours later. With assistance, he loaded me into the car and got me to the ER. Yes, four days after our honeymoon, I had to depend on my husband to shower and dress me. Talk about a quick lesson in humility!

In the ER, I laughed and thought all would be fine. Little did I know it would be many years before it was. And that even then, there would be injuries to be managed daily. Ignorance sometimes truly is bliss – knowing the struggles that followed might have been just too much.

Market Square

We then enjoyed a stroll through Market Square, where they happened to be exhibiting old cars. Steve was in his glory here. Me, I was matching cars to my necklace. The orange one won out!

A Bygone Career

As we approached my old workplace, 5th & Wood, I shared a few sentimental thoughts with my past employer. Yeah, kind of took my hubby by surprise there, but I sure did feel better!

Just after this point, 30-40 minutes in, I was ready to get out of town. Though I certainly enjoyed our stroll, the memories (the good, the bad, the ugly), the sounds, the chaos, the filth, and the smells were stifling. Let’s just say it’s not the same as walking on the beach, feeling & breathing the warm, salty ocean air.

What Have We Done?

Pittsburgh’s Cultural District – A beautiful city with a rich history and wonderful people.

And that perhaps brings me to the most important part of this message. What have we done? The pain, the sorrow, and the undeniable suffering on the streets are nearly unbearable. Even this naïve country girl is pretty sure she saw 2-3 drug deals going down.

No one enters this life desiring to be overwhelmed by struggles, addictions, pain, and sorrow. The ills of our society are huge, astronomical. This is not the downtown Pittsburgh I fell in love with so many years ago. Yet there is still so much goodness in the city, in the people and so much potential for healing.

What is the solution? That I don’t know. But this I do know. I truly believe everything we do has an impact, that has another impact and then another. Everything ripples. In fact, I co-wrote a song with Christina Wells of America’s Got Talent on the very topic, that everything we do has an impact. You can listen to my song Courage to Be You here.

Personnally, I believe approaching life through the lens of compassion and caring does make a difference. A difference that ripples far and wide, even if we don’t see the impact.

Kindness & Compassion

We each need to embrace kindness and compassion. In our everyday lives, our daily interactions. The decisions we make. The way we lead. No matter our socioeconomic class, our profession, our spiritual beliefs, or our ‘anything.’ Change can only begin within… and spread out from there.

And in the nature of kindness, I ask one thing. Please no political, religious, or in any way degrading comments. We are all in some small way at fault, and we are all part of the solution.

Perhaps, just as Pittsburgh is a city of bridges, we can each be a bridge, a connection to healing within our own families and communities.

A Moment To Ponder: Pause for a few moments and consider… how are your actions today, tomorrow, and the next day, contributing to a kinder and more compassionate world? What could happen if you were to lead each day with compassion?

All pictures were taken on July 19, 2023, by myself in downtown Pittsburgh.

Simone Giangiordano, better known as Simone G, is the creator of BalanceUP® Community. She is a business and lifestyle coach who has helped hundreds of clients create a business that works for their unique lifestyles. This despite being told by multiple doctors and professionals that she should not work and to just get on disability because of her chronic health issues. She has used her nearly 2 decades experience in the corporate world and more than 15 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, trainer, and business coach to create the Building Balance to Empower® programs, including her signature program The Power of I Can't® to help individuals with heath challenges create and live a life of peace, joy and yes… success.Learn more about Simone G's story.

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