Our Town

My town is the place where my house is found, business is located, and where my vote is cast.  It is where my children are educated, and where my life is.  My town has a right to my civic loyalty, it supports me and I should support it.  My town wants my citizenship, not my partisanship.  My friendliness, not my dissensions.  My sympathy, not my criticism.  My intelligence, not my indifference.  My town supplies me with protection, trade, friends, education, schools, churches, and the right to free moral citizenship.  It has some things better than others.  The best things I should see to make better.  The worst things I should help to suppress.  Take it all-in-all, it is my town and it is entitled to the best there is in me.”  Circa 1938.

I wish I could claim to be the author of the above lines, but alas, is it simply something that I inherited a few years ago when my father-in-law passed away.  He had it on a plaque on his desk.  Now-a-days, I read it frequently as I think about all of the moving parts of a functional community.

I know my job is to be the perpetual cheerleader for all things “Tomah”, but I am going to step outside of that convention for a minute here:  Tomah doesn’t always function on all eight cylinders.  (Yes, I just said that.)  We try.  Sometimes we win, but sometimes we fail.  I can sit here and type a laundry list of things that we do wrong, but the truth is that I believe the BIGGEST thing we do wrong is focusing on the things that go wrong!  The laundry list of things we do RIGHT is twice as long, a heck of a lot more fun, and generates even more things done right!

Think about it for just a minute…What do we gain by complaining about failures?  What do we gain by bragging up our successes?  I can tell you, people around the state are listening to Tomah because of our momentum.  What story do we want them to hear?  I want Tomah to be heard because of our brilliant collaboration, unadultered courage to move forward, and vision to paint the canvas with big bold strokes.  I want to hear everyone stating, “it is my town and it is entitled to the best there is in me!

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