em ·brace   /em-breys/   verb   –  to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly

Growing up, my parents were skilled with the use of expressions ”“ both cliché and original. When I wanted to get my ears pierced, my mom said the last thing I needed was another hole in my head. And when the interests of my brothers and sisters and I would flit from the drums to basketball to Atari to the guitar and on and on, we were, of course, jacks of all trades, masters of none.

But did you know, that originally that expression was exclusively positive? To be a jack of all trades was actually a good thing ”“ someone who had accumulated a lot of knowledge and skill in many areas of study.


While vacationing in Maine, I learned that the small town of Bar Harbor is a bit like a jack of all trades. It has embraced everything that the state of Maine has to offer. Maine is known for lobster. And blueberries. And moose. And Acadia. Outdoor adventure. Mountains  and  coast. And more.

All these identities are reflected in Bar Harbor. They have not focused fiercely or tried to do one thing right ”“ they focus on doing it all. Is that ambitious, yes! But that seems to be the way they like it.

Do you have lobster? YES! Do you have blueberries? YES! Do you have moose? YES! Do you have Acadia? YES! Plus luxury hotels and B&Bs. Water craft of all types. Bike trails, walking trails, hiking trails. Fine dining and funky cafes. The list goes on.

The great state of Pennsylvania is equally diverse and magnificent in its offerings as our northeastern neighbor. If you choose to be a jack of all trades, what else can your community embrace?