Q&A - February 5, 2016

It seems like whenever change occurs (even positive change), some people will oppose it. But one thing I have learned over the years is not to listen to the naysayers because there will always be cynical people who will try to convince you that you can’t accomplish anything. If the naysayers had their way, nothing new or innovative would ever be attempted, much less accomplished.

Unfortunately, there is a loud chorus of naysayers in Okmulgee who evidently prefer to dwell on everything that is wrong with the community rather than on anything to improve the community. This is so damaging because it is easy to be caught up in the negativity of others. If you occasionally lend your voice to sing in this chorus or know someone else who does, please continue reading.

Q: What does Okmulgee have going for it?

Our town really has many positive attributes. Okmulgee enjoys solid local leadership, a responsive city government, many great businesses and industries, stable employment opportunities, a rich cultural heritage, a reasonable cost of living, wonderful healthcare providers, active civic organizations, strong churches, great schools and colleges, recreational options, a peaceful way of life, involved citizens, a spirit of cooperation among various community groups, convenient access to urban amenities, potential for growth, and we host some of the best hometown festivals in the state.

The list of community assets would be very long indeed if we sat down and really tried to write them all in detail. Instead, allow me to suggest a list of some of the merits of Okmulgee, based on each letter in Okmulgee.

O – Okmulgee Rising Campaign in Historic Downtown Okmulgee
K – Kindhearted and Generous Nature of our Citizens
M – Muscogee (Creek) Nation Capital
U – Unique Roots as an Ethnically Diverse Community
L – Lake System and Potential for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
G – Geographic Location with Convenient Access to Transportation
E – Educational Opportunities from Kindergarten through College
E – Economic Development and Potential for Retail and Industry

As long as there has been human civilizations, it has been easier to destroy than to build up—to criticize than to compliment—to obstruct than to support. It is one of our human failings, but we tend to dwell on the negative far more than the positive. Too often, we concentrate our attention on what we can’t do rather than on we can do—on what we don’t have rather than on what we do have. We have a lot to work with right here in Okmulgee. This town has many valuable merits and positive attributes upon which we can build. Great things will happen in Okmulgee if we stop trying to destroy, criticize, and obstruct the efforts of others.

If you are someone who is trying to focus on the optimistic things happening in Okmulgee and the improvements that are underway, please don’t be discouraged by the irresponsible comments of cynics. Don’t listen to the discordance of the naysayers because their tired song is out of tune and their chorus simply lacks harmony.

Your questions have been so helpful to me. Please continue to share them at osuit-president@okstate.edu.