A better city in the new year

A better city in the new year

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There was an article a few years ago in which a man gave his idea of a perfect world. He said, “In a perfect world you would feel as good at 60 as you did at 17. And you would be as smart at 60 as you thought you were at 17. In a perfect world professional basketball, baseball and football players would be complaining because school teachers were signing multi-million-dollar contracts. In a perfect world potato chips would have calories, but if eaten with dip, the calories would be neutralized. In a perfect world mail would always be early, and the check in the mail would always be for more than you expected it to be.” The truth is: this is not a perfect world and it will never be! But it can become a lot better in this New Year for all of us.

Life has breaking points. It is those who can continually move beyond situations who will arrive at their destination. History books are full of stories with viewpoints of persons who cannot see beyond the challenge ahead. However, there are also those who never stop believing in their efforts to succeed. Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven years old before he could read. A newspaper fired Walt Disney because he had no good ideas. How satisfying life can be when you can look back and remember the hard struggle from lean years spent in overcoming the distractions and diversions that were in your path.

I’ve discovered that there are three kinds of people in the world, rowboat people, sailboat people, and steamboat people. Rowboat people need to be pushed or shoved along. Sailboat people move when a favorable wind is blowing. Steamboat people move continuously, through calm or stormy seas; they press forward. They are masters of themselves, their surroundings, and their fate. Those that are pushed along have no self-motivation, those that move only when things are ideal have fair weather motivation. However, those who are determined and have set their course have self-motivation and nothing will stop them from moving forward. Have you ever seen a straight river? Canals are straight, but all rivers seem to be crooked. We call it “meandering.” Why are rivers crooked? Because the natural tendency of a river is to take the easiest way around any obstacle. So, rivers are always crooked, and they always run downhill. Some people are like rivers. They lack vision and are blind to what can be. Putting forth effort into obtaining something better eludes them. For them it’s easier to settle for the status-quo.

As we come to the end of another year, I am optimistic about our city. I get a little discouraged sometimes when I hear negative narratives about our city. There is a better way to use our energy than sitting around complaining about what is not. Is this what making our city great consists of? And then the question becomes, ‘HOW? Is this the best that we are ever going have? Is this all that we have to expect? I say no.

Together we can do better if we pool our energy. Are we just going through the motions of being a city? Are we just methodically going through our everyday routine without taking advantage of opportunities? Are we just surviving or are we thriving? As your Mayor, I believe in our ability to thrive. I will not participate in any other conversation. As we make our personal resolutions for the coming year let us also resolve to use where we have come from to get where we need to be.



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