Being not ‘from here’ has its just rewards

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During a recent visit with a good friend and client, we were reminded of something: We’re not “from here.”
You’ve been there. Someone walks into a store and asks a question. They talk somewhat differently than others in the store and the store clerk or owner responds with, “You ain’t from here, are ya?”
Communities only occupied by folks “from here” seem to eventually wither and die. New people, new enthusiasm, new ideas are critical to every community.
We can get complacent unless, by influences from outside, we are challenged to believe we deserve better and strive for more.
My friend, who moved to Cushing not so long ago, also reminded me that new folks look at what we have differently than do locals from way back.
Example: Our community’s Memorial Park and Cushing Aquatic Center are awesome. Yet, even as valuable as they are, after a period of time, we begin to take them for granted.
Remember when you brought home a new car or a new boat or motorcycle? The first thing you did is wash it up. You detailed it. You inspected every inch of this new purchase and said to yourself, “I’m gonna really take care of this thing.”
You washed it every week for the first month, then once a month, then once in a while, then because it was work to wash it at all.
Our park and pool are wonderful and should be cared for like they were brand new. We should be asking ourselves, “What can we do to make it even better?”
If you have ideas, tell someone about it. Write a letter to the editor. Call one of your city commissioners. Go tell our city manager. See if you can get something started that will improve your city.
What about the Cushing Lake? Folks who have been here for many years begin to look at the lake as though it is not an asset at all. I confess that, although I have been here for 25 years, I have begun not to see our city lake as a bright spot of opportunity.
Here’s how some see it.
Fishing hole? Not bad.
Duck hunting? Blinds all over the place.
That’s valuable to some but many in Cushing don’t even think about that. They see the lake as a muddy, overgrown, neglected buddy and insect-infested eyesore.
Pretend to come to town as a newcomer. You may see the lake as neglected — sure enough — but what opportunity. One could dredge the lake and line the bottom with sand, manicure the shorelines by trimming trees, mowing grass, cleaning up trash and add a few sandy beaches.
Maybe then someone will start up a business renting canoes, someone else will develop home lots, someone else a shoreline restaurant and bar, still another may see opportunities to expand the lake or add a marina with convenience store, fishing tackle, quick food.
Perhaps we have rules that prohibit gas engine motors so fishers use electric trolling motors. Homeowners have a dock with their barge boat with electric outboard in their boat slip at the end of the walkway.
Zig Ziglar tells a story about an airliner landing the as the door opens. A local says, “Well, we’re home. Guess we have to go back to work.”
Then a youngster who has lived his live in an overcrowded nasty, smelly, hopeless area of India makes it to the door and says, “Wow!! Now there is a place a person can find work.”
It depends on how we look at things.
It’s so easy to be negative. It’s easy to become critical. It’s easy to blame someone else for your community not looking like or being like you wish it could be.
Let’s play a game. Let’s go around our community and things that could be improved and how. If you have something in mind, send a note to us through email or post on Facebook. Let’s search to find place in our community where we can say, “Wow! We are so fortunate to have that in our community,” and “Wow! Look at opportunity for improvement over there.”
We have a nice community. We’re going to either grow or decline. Whether we grow or decline depends on attitudes about the community and the willingness to get involved and make a difference.
Should our city government or our chamber of commerce choose to develop a plan for moving our community forward, it would serve to influence some of our individual attitudes.
It is your town. Look at it with eyes with hope and opportunity.