Children's stories tend to provide examples of values, learning, and teachable moments to the children and adults who have read and watched them. Here are a few life lessons we've learned:
The Complete Tales of Winnie The Pooh: Treasure friendships
The Velveteen Rabbit: When we are truly ourselves and truly loved we become genuine and real.
The Giving Tree: The importance of generosity, compassion, and selflessness
The Lorax: If you care for something, take action on it
Where the Wild Things Are: Setting out on an adventure is thrilling, but coming home is even better.
Horton Hears a Who: Always help those less powerful than you
Charlotte’s Web: We give our lives meaning by helping others
One of those stories that every one of us can remember is the tale of The Little Engine That Could. We all spoke together “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” while secretly learning the value of optimism and hard work.
If you don't remember, the quick premise of the story is that an engine is going along fine and dandy until he encounters a mountain and breaks down. The engine is unable to get over a mountain– it’s too heavy a burden to shoulder alone. He asks for other engines to take his load for him and for a variety of reasons and excuses he can find no one willing. Finally, he comes across an engine not meant for the task and is least likely to succeed, but is still willing to try. The little engine begins with the right mind set and with sheer perseverance and positive mental attitude he makes it to over the mountain and to his destination.
So why do I bring this up? Because I believe that Longview is “The Little City That Could”.
We resemble both engines: We break down at times when when speak or think negatively - that's so "typical Longview" ......like how could we possibly be a great tourism spot, a place to call home, a place to work, a place to play and learn, a destination for those near and far - why can't we be?
Unlike the first engine, there is no one out there that we can ask to take over our journey, no one else can nor is willing to do it for us. Our mountain is our preferred future, a bright- thriving-playful-successful-healthy-flourishing-prosperous city. So let’s not ask for help- let’s promote partnership, let’s invite for those willing to team up and those ready to put in the hard work together. Community members, service groups, public and private businesses, organizations, all of us working together towards our common goal. And just like the second engine, we need to start with the right mind set – let’s stop naming all the reasons we can’t and start with a YES! mind set.
The future is bright, the potential is there, and our little city’s history has been built on perseverance, determination, shared vision, and a can do attitude.
2019 is going to be great….join in: “We think we can, we think we can, we think we can!”