Letter 23 - We Are Our Own Worst Enemy


Our Own Worst Enemy

Letter from the Director

Do you find yourself constantly speaking negatively about Longview?  Do you associate or surround yourself with people who do – either verbally or online?  Do you often put our little town down for this reason or that?  Do you criticize every little thing or compare our town to others that you think are perfect?
We are our own worst enemy…
We are the resounding sound that precedes our reputation, that defeats our successes before they get a chance to start – we never give ourselves credit when credit is due.  We are actually afraid that when we speak positively about Longview, someone will jump in and contradict what we are trying to convey – so why bother?
We are our own worst enemy…
We spend time focusing on the negative, so that’s all we see.  We let the less than stellar opinions of our citizens dictate how we view ourselves, and then we spread that rhetoric to those who we encounter outside.   “Oh, I’ve heard about Longview…” followed by something we would never really want to align ourselves with if we had the choice – and YET - we do have a choice.
We are the problem… AND we are also the solution.
Last night I had the opportunity to co-lead a table on the topic of “Quality of Place” at our Citizen Summit. It began with the same things we always hear… Longview this and Longview that, there’s nothing to do, look at all these bad things, why can’t have,… and it started down a very negative rabbit hole.
We are our own worst enemy…
So we halted and shifted the conversation.  We asked what do you love about Longview and what are some of the things we are doing right?
THE LIST WAS AMAZING and it just kept going and going, everyone rattling off things like our parks, our downtown, our trees, our festivals, our family programs, our events, our historic buildings, our outdoor art, our library, our giving spirit, our small town feel, our proximity to big cities, our access to the outdoors, our community college, our lake, our service groups, our willingness to volunteer and help out.  I feel like we could have talked about what’s awesome in Longview for over an hour without doubling up on ideas.
We are allowed to love ourselves...  
There are many towns and cities our size who have similar problems and we are all trying to find solutions – that’s a good thing, it means we care and we continue to try.  But, there are a lot of those same towns who don’t have what we have – not even close.  Not every town has free concerts and movies, a golf course and racquet complex, a beautiful lake to enjoy, heck 18 parks for that matter, a gorgeous downtown to stroll and shop, a historic library to peruse, access to rivers and outdoor pursuits etc. etc. etc.… we are very fortunate.
So let’s stop standing in our own way, let’s stop showcasing the negative, let’s stop trying to convince ourselves and others that we are less than, and for goodness sakes quit selling ourselves short – we are amazing.
Be intentional on how you speak about our Longview, commit to involving yourself into the community, learn about what our City has to offer, be the good and promote the good…
Let us be our City’s best friends. #MyLongview