January 28, 2023

The Profound Power of Place

The trajectory of life is determined by the profound power of place.  According to the World Bank, China has twenty of the thirty most polluted cities in the world, and the most polluted city in the world is Linfen, China. Here’s a video on YouTube about Linfen, China. Makes you want to hold your breath while watching it. If I was selling soap, I’d head over to Linfen. (China is fining Unilever for merely talking about the need to increase soap prices! People are cheap in China, not talk.)

The worst place for a woman is the Congo, where forty-eight women are raped every hour. Human Rights Watch has more on the Congo. Lynn Nottage won a Pulitzer in Drama for her play Ruined about rape in the Congo. Lisa Jackson has a film The Greatest Silence on the same subject.

Lisa Jackson's film "The Greatest Silence"

The worst place to be a woman means it is also the worst place to be a child. Thousands of children in the Congo are forced every year to become boy soldiers and sex slaves.

Here in America, the most dangerous neighborhood, and there are a lot to choose from, is in Cincinnati:

1. Cincinnati, Ohio

Neighborhood: Central Pky./Liberty St.
Found Within ZIP Code(s): 45210, 45214
Predicted Annual Violent Crimes: 457
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 266.94
My Chances of Becoming a Victim Here (in one year): 1 in 4

I had to do a survey on suntan lotion that took me into one of the worst neighborhoods in Cincinnati. I asked the store manager if they had any and he gave me a very weird how stupid are you where the hell did you come from look. Then he said, “Guy, you won’t find any suntan lotion in this entire zip code.” The most dangerous city in America is Saginaw, Michigan. Wallet Pop has more about the most dangerous neighborhoods. Place matters in determining the quality of life. The United States is becoming known as the Food Stamp Nation, with more than 43 million Americans now needing food stamps. The place with the highest percentage is the District of Columbia, with 22 % of its residents on food stamps. Michigan has 21.9 % on food stamps. The Washington D.C. area is booming if you’re in the right place and know the right people, and falling apart if you’re in the wrong place and know the wrong people. Comedian Sam Kinison offered this solution to hunger on the David Letterman show…boxes and a U-Haul truck. Get to a better place.

Money Magazine says the best place to live is Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The gods of ancient Greece know of a better place, a place which will never appear on the best and worst surveys (keep reading). What is so interesting about some of these surveys from Money Magazine and Forbes is that the best and worst places are sometimes separated by only a few miles. Not just in D.C. but also in metropolitan areas around the country. Like in Acres of Diamonds, just go a little bit farther and you’ll find your true place.

Photo: David Lauridsen


The Huffington Post has photos of the twenty most beautiful places in the world. The place voted most beautiful is Iguazu Falls, Brazil. So it’s more than a few miles away. Saginaw is closer.


The best place to go where people will know your name…Cheers

The 2010 Expat Explorer survey rates Thailand as the best place to be an expat. Canada comes in second. I prefer “Cheers” to “Hockey Night in Canada.”


Brian Tracy, in his book Maximum Achievement, tells the story of the gods in ancient Greece arguing where to hide the secret of life. Man would find the place if hidden on the highest mountain. “We have created man with insatiable curiosity and ambition, and he will eventually climb even the highest mountain. The gods considered a hiding place at the bottom of the deepest ocean. “We have created man with boundless imagination and a burning desire to explore his world. Sooner or later, man will reach even the greatest ocean depths.”

Then the gods thought of the perfect place to hide the secret of life. “Let us hide the secret of life in the last place that man will ever look, a place that he will only come to when he has exhausted all other possibilities and is finally ready.”

That place will be “deep in the human heart,” and winner of the best place to live, even if you’re in Cincinnati which I actually like. Many of these best and worst place surveys are kind of bogus.

The Business Insider has the twelve places to go if the world goes to hell. One of them is Kansas City? Can’t believe Hell, Michigan isn’t on the list. An interesting factoid is that the mayor of Hell, Michigan is John Colone, a Vietnam vet who was shot five times, declared dead by the medics, and put in a body bag. Talk about going to Hell and back, in more ways than one.



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