The Glass is Never Half Empty
By Tommy Haws
When I was leaving Gallup after high school to head to college, I had the oddest conversation with a woman at the gas station on the north side of town. I was with my buddy Jared Mowrer as we were leaving this town we had grown up in, never to return. (In all fairness, he did return for a while, but eventually left again.) We were putting Gallup in our rear view mirror and never looking back.
The conversation with this woman centered around the fact that she recognized we were leaving town and in her words: “You don’t believe me now, but you will recognize some day that this is one of the most beautiful places in the world and you probably don’t appreciate it.” She went on to say that we are not really able to see the amazing place we were from, because it was too close to us.
I thought she was wrong. There is no way I would ever see this town as beautiful or attractive. I would never see the rocks and the cedars as something to seek out. Now I really realize I was the wrong one.
I brought my family back to Gallup in order to raise them here. I had been away for nearly 15 years, lived in lots of other places and seen a great deal. Suddenly, I wanted to be here and work at making this as good of a place as it was when I was raised here. But as an adult, I find that I am also more aware of things that need to be addressed.
I sometimes get really tired of worrying. I think about things, worry about them, stew over them, etc. One of the temptations is to look at the negative things and spend my time obsessing there. Maybe you are like that too – it is easy to be that way. Optimism is a learned skill, I think. Maybe because we are ingrained to be protective of what we have, or maybe it is human nature that needs to be overcome – but I do know this – I hate being negative.
Don’t get me wrong; I am no Pollyanna. I do not just pretend things are better than they are in order to avoid reality. I am not one to ignore real problems and issues. In fact, in order to either prevent or repair them, they must be recognized.
There is real power in positive thinking and finding a way to make something work instead of finding the reasons they will not work. I think that there is a great deal of worrying about what cannot be changed when our energy should be focused on what can be changed – or at least improved.
So where some see the statistics of our area with poverty, educational rankings, or other “depressing” stats, it is easy to say that our problems are insurmountable. However, to me, all that means is that we have the chance to move the needle and make some good things happen.
Here are some great things happening in Gallup right now. We have greater stability at our hospital right now. We have a huge land asset with owners that believe in Gallup and are working towards having some really great job growth opportunities. We have an improving UNM-Gallup campus that is working on workforce development. We have a downtown that is coming into its own with Main Street, the BID, the Arts District designation, etc. We have new things happening all the time and this is the time when things are lining up to get even better.
So, let’s make sure our conversations talk about the good in town and if we bring up an opportunity for improvement, let’s come up with real solutions.
As for how this affects money and you, much of spending and investment is emotional and psychological as it is cerebral or mental. In other words, people make long-term investments based on where they think things are going. In Gallup, much of our time is wasted on thinking of what is wrong instead of focusing on what is right. The glass is MORE than half full, and we need to start acting like it. This is a great place to raise a family and there is so much that can be done in order to make it even better when we look at that glass differently.