Letter 12 - They Might but They Might Not

City of Longview Parks and Recreation

April 5, 2017

They Might, but They Might Not...

Today we put up our Tree Benefit Project at Lake Sacajawea. 10 signs were placed next to arboretum trees providing information about the tree and describing the benefits it provides.

Besides the very positive feedback about the project, one question kept getting thrown around: what if your signs get stolen?

The answer: they might, but they might not.

On the positive side, what if questions help mitigate against potential issues and help us think outside of the box. On the negative side, what if questions can be stifling idea suppressors.

What if:

  • We didn’t allow visitors at Japanese Island because it might get vandalized
  • We didn’t install artwork downtown because it might get broken
  • We didn’t hold special events because it might rain
  • We didn’t provide adult sports because someone might get hurt
  • We didn’t remove graffiti because it might happen again

Bad things happen sometimes, so you may call it insanity - doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result…but

We are getting the results we want over and over again - people enjoying the lake, a beautiful downtown, families making memories at concerts, adults getting healthier by participating in sports, and proving that we care about our city, those who live here, and those who visit it.

Yeah, they might do those things again, but they might not… and the amount of people who benefit from these quality of life/place experiences far outweigh what might happen if we didn’t do them.

Close your eyes and think about what if Longview didn’t do some of these things, what our City might look like.

Here is how we handle those might happen situations:

When a project arises we ask ourselves what if we do and then what if we don't What if we reinstall that vandalized slide at Victoria Freeman Park, and it gets broken again - but what if we don’t - how many kids would be affected? A lot, and that's what we care about!

You can’t be fearful of what might happen in life - ask yourself both the what if you do and what if you don't questions, weigh the outcomes, and then move on.

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you are always in the same place.

Remember: if Plan A doesn't work - thankfully the alphabet has 25 more letters.

Jennifer Wills, Director
Play Maker and Play Builder