Research shows that the average adult speaks at least 7,000 words in a day. Obviously, depending on your personality and your job, you might speak far more than that, or considerably less. But for the sake of this column, I’ll use 7,000 as average for a day.
Words matter – all of them. If I’m using at least 7,000 words in my average day, I want to make sure they’re all important and used for maximum effect. At the end of every year, countless organizations declare their Word of the Year. For instance, Merriam-Webster listed “gaslighting” as its word of the year for 2022. Past winners include vaccine, pandemic, justice, and surreal.
I’m not going to declare a word of the year, but I am going to pick a few words I hope to use more in the year ahead.
“We.” I firmly believe in the power of we. As your mayor and a member of the City Council, I always hope for an engaged community. Municipal government works best when residents are actively involved. When there are more eyes looking at a situation, there are more opportunities for us to succeed. I believe when we get together to work toward a common goal, Minot’s opportunity for growth is greatly expanded and enhanced. “We” can accomplish much more than “I” can.
“Positive.” I believe there is opportunity in everything we do. Author John Gordon states “behind every cloud, the sun is shining.” This is an exciting time for Minot. There are great things happening in all corners of our community. Don’t believe me?
In northwest Minot, a new fire station and a new public high school are under construction.
In southwest Minot, a new state-of-the-art medical complex is nearing completion.
In northeast Minot, a magnificent new children’s museum dominates the north hill skyline.
In southeast Minot, construction is under way on Broadway Circle, a project that includes a family homeless shelter, food pantry, and low income housing.
I’m not ignoring the fact that our community has some dark clouds and difficult decisions ahead of it. But by facing these decisions with our eyes wide open, and with an “opportunity” type of attitude, we can and will accomplish great things. We’ve done it before; the proof is all around us.
We’re always going to deal with negative attitudes that we cannot change. But we can change how we respond. We can choose to allow the negativity to distract us from our mission, or we can decide that there is positivity in every situation, if we look for it.
I’m choosing to embrace positivity. I am committed to finding the very best in our community and shining a spotlight on what they are doing to make Minot a better place to live.
“Thankful.” I choose to be thankful for what I have in my personal life. We should all be thankful for our family and friends; don’t take any of them for granted, because you never know when there will be an empty chair at your next holiday gathering.
I also choose to be thankful for those who keep our city safe, clean, secure, and moving forward. As an organization, the City of Minot is full of people who ensure our community has clean water, clean streets, has a solid vision for the future, and is protected from crime and the threat of fire. The City of Minot isn’t a nameless, faceless organization. It’s made up of your family members, your friends, and your neighbors. I am thankful for every one of them as we embark on a new year.
We. Positive. Thankful.
Those will be the words I will use to guide me through the decisions I face in the upcoming year. It’s going to be a challenging year, as they all are, but I’m approaching 2023 with excitement, hope, and confidence.
Excitement for the positive changes that are happening in Minot.
Hope for the future growth and prosperity of our community.
Confidence in our residents, who continue to amaze me every day with their goodness and overwhelming sense of community spirit.
I think that’s enough words from me for now. How will you use your next 7,000 words?
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