Q&A - June 24, 2016

Seems like mankind has always found it easier to tear down than to build up. This week, I offer twelve attitudes or actions from citizens that can “kill a small town.” Lists similar to this have been published in newspapers around the country, but I thought you might find this topic sarcastically amusing.

Q: How do you kill a small town?

If you really want to kill your small town, it’s not hard. Here are twelve surefire methods you can start using today. Just raise your right hand, and take the naysayer’s pledge.

  1. I swear to live in the past and remind others about how much better things used to be.
  2. I will attend no meetings of any kind and promise to rely on rumors as the primary source of my information.
  3. I will badmouth city and other local leaders every chance I get and criticize the way “they” are doing things.
  4. I promise to complain about the police department, fire department, public schools, chamber of commerce, city government, and any other local organization or service provider I can think of.
  5. I will pay absolutely no attention to the upkeep of my home, yard, or place of business. After all, the appearance of my property is nobody else’s business but my own.
  6. I will actively seek to buy things out of town, from mail order catalogs, or on the internet and completely ignore the merchants who work for the good of the town.
  7. I pledge to disregard the schools and will refuse to support the youth of the community in any way.
  8. I will assert with regularity that all kids are delinquents, all businessmen are crooks, and promise to point out the flaws of the community to the best of my abilities.
  9. I will avoid the use of trash containers and agree to discard my disposable items at my convenience and wherever I please.
  10. I vow that whenever possible, I will use statements like “that will never work” or “this is how it’s always been done.”
  11. I will remove the word “volunteer” from my vocabulary and always affirm that one person cannot make a difference.
  12. And above all, I will always be skeptical, cynical, and negative about anything that is intended for the community’s progress or betterment and about any activity designed to make the town a better place to live.

If we all try very hard, we can ruin our town in no time. Why be part of the solution, when you can be part of the problem? Are you doing your part to kill Okmulgee?

It is sad to admit that some of our citizens actually behave this way and may not realize the damage they are doing. The real take away should be that civic pride begins with you and me. Good towns are built with engaged citizens and positive leadership.

I am so grateful to have this public forum to communicate with you. Please continue to send your questions to osuit-president@okstate.edu and I will do my best to answer them right here.