Do we need permission to dream in Dayton?

I spent yesterday lunch at Clay Mathile’s gift to the region- an amazing, inspiring, thought provoking complex called Aileron, up near Tipp City. Just from the drive through the gates to the parking lot (complete with electric car charging stations) you start to relax and your attitude adjusts. It’s filled with spaces to brainstorm, research resources at your disposal, and really great cheerleaders to help you work on your business instead of in it.

It’s a place to dream, plan, and set a business on the right course, and we’re lucky to have it. It’s also one of the few pieces of remarkable architecture that I’ve seen built in the area. Thank you, Clay.

The person I went there with, was fellow blogger, social media expert and blue sky thinker David Bowman. Who happened to write this post about getting permission a few days ago- and it echo’s my thought about how we select leadership in Dayton- and how we fail.

“Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.” Eight simple words conveying so much meaning.

Perhaps this refernece to Orville resonates with me because of my attachment to Dayton – a place where you see the Wright Brothers referenced so often you might think they were still alive and represented by an exceptional PR firm. I attended a University named for them. I see a replica of their plane flying out of an airport named for them about once a week near my home. I see references to them on water towers, and parks and in the name one of the largest military installations in the world in Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

The thing that is so important about MacKenzie’s words to me is the idea that Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur did not need permission to change the world. They needed creativity, passion, and persistence. Luckily for us, they had an abundance of all three.

Their idea was not widely embraced at first. They did not care. Their idea did not have huge corporate funding. That did not stop them. Their idea had never been done. That inspired them. Their idea was risky. They believed in it. Their idea failed many times. They knew it could succeed. The Wrights did not have “permission” to fly. They did not need it. They wanted to fly and committed to making it happen.

via Orville Wright Did Not Have A Pilot’s License | davidebowman.

Having to ask permission of the powers that be, be it the Democratic Party, the existing elected, the unions, or the power brokers with money (FKA the Boys in the backroom club), it has failed us.

It’s how we end up without multiple candidates for every office (they are called primaries elsewhere- here we try to skip them). It’s how we scare business away- because without permission to try new things, we just don’t. It’s why we have to hire an outside “expert” to tell us how to recruit “the creative class”- those darn people who don’t like to color within the lines, or think inside the box. It’s how we kill our city in little bites.

When I listen to the arguments about why we can’t do regional uni-gov from the powers that be, they point to Ohio laws that supposedly make it impossible. That’s asking permission, and being told no.

If this is the land of the free, home of the brave, I haven’t seen it lately.

No, Orville Wright did not have a pilots license.

What’s stopping you from giving yourself permission to do something great?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!