It’s time for Dayton to focus on counting blessings

Business Week has an interesting story on positive psychology.

Dayton could use a strong dose of it right now. For all that we have wrong, we have so many things right. Foremost in my mind is the sincere friendliness that you feel on the streets- people will look you in the eye and say hello in passing, smiles are abundant, even in tough times.

While we seem to dwell on things that we used to be, or could be, the reality is- our right now is pretty good: we have water, our housing values didn’t do wild swings, we don’t have earthquakes or hurricanes and we have a cost of living that is one of the lowest in the country- while still having arts and culture.

The BW article is long- but the key principles are summed up here:

a central tenet of positive psychology: capitalize on your fundamental character strengths, especially when things get bleak…

Coaches specializing in positive psychology are selling entrepreneurs a twofold promise. One is that optimism and cheerfulness have a measurable effect on the bottom line. The other is that happiness is a muscle you can strengthen.

via How Positive Psychology Can Boost Your Business – BusinessWeek.

After the presidential campaign, it should have become clear that a positive message trumps negativity. Last night’s Presidential address to Congress was upbeat and positive in the face of doom and gloom.

Unfortunately, our leaders continue to keep having meetings to solve our many problems, instead of focusing on our strengths. It’s time to look on how to start focusing on doing what we’re already doing- better, and pushing people to do what they do with a new veracity and renewed energy.

The old “It’s great in Dayton” tagline needs to have the dust knocked off- because, no matter how bad we think it is here- it’s a lot worse somewhere else.

Do you agree?

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16 Responses

  1. jane February 25, 2009 / 10:06 am
    YES, YES, and YES! We have so much to be grateful for!
  2. Drexel Dave Sparks February 25, 2009 / 12:34 pm
    Having spent a large portion of my childhood growing up in deep Eastern Kentucky (Corbin and Campton to be exact), I am amazed at what people in Dayton bitch about.

    We really don’t know what real poverty is here.

  3. Drexel Dave Sparks February 25, 2009 / 12:36 pm
    I do, however, see a lot of psychological poverty in d8n.
  4. jane February 25, 2009 / 6:11 pm
    Amen Brother!
  5. tg February 25, 2009 / 11:23 pm
    Oh hell yes I agree!! I LOVE Dayton. I was born here, have lived my entire life here and will die here, unless I happen to be traveling somewhere else. We’ve traveled a lot and while I love some things about some places, nothing has all the things I love about Dayton.

    We’re on the western edge of the time zone so it stays light longer; we have four seasons, so even if you don’t like the current one, there is an end in sight; the people are great, if you get in the car and drive for an hour, you’re in another major city, not halfway across town.

    People whine about Dayton Public Schools but what about the alternatives – DECA, Stivers, Ponitz, Holy Angels, CJ and more. You can be a big fish in a small town. Do you think if New York City created a “greater downtown plan” that your ideas would be heard? Do you think they would CARE?

    We’re a big small town. Small enough that you can go out and run into people you know, large enough that it doesn’t happen EVERY time you go out. We have the Pine Club, Marions, MikeSells potato chips, Esther Price, Coco’s, Franco’s. We have historic districts, each of which have their different personalities and styles. We are honest, hard working and inclusive. We have rivers, trees, green space, clean air and space – and we have Five Rivers Metro Parks! We have an arts scene, a music scene, an engineering scene, a winter guard scene and a Hamvention scene.

    And let’s not forget our festivals – German Picnic, Celtic, Greek, Hispanic, Appalachian, Italian, Popcorn, Sauerkraut, Strawberry, Lebonese, World A’Fair, and on and on. And best of all is the cost of living, so if you can’t find what you like here, you can use your disposable income to travel to find what you’re looking for.

    I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that it is very easy to count your blessings when you live in Dayton. As tough as things look like now, personally I am very excited because I realize we have the talent, the desire and the means to totally reinvent our City and make it greater than ever. Dayton will never die – it will just continually reinvest itself.

  6. Greg Hunter February 26, 2009 / 8:10 am
    I am with TG, I do love the place for all she said and more and maybe if was like the place I would create it would not be home anymore?

    Mike Sells. Plenty of Fish Fry’s and C’est Tout! Plus Paccia, The OE, the trolley……

  7. Gene February 26, 2009 / 8:35 am
    A good ol’ Fish Fry? Greg, most are affiliated with the church, which, I thought, was not up your alley.

    Tanks, Jimmies (that is not a chain David) Smokin BBQ, Klammers, Belmont Party Supply, MJ’s, Masque, Canal Street, Charlies Imports, Next Wave, Chef Leo’s Place, Flying Pizza (but there is more than one location, does that make it a chain?) University of Dayton is unique to Dayton, no?, Sinclair, Dayton Chess Club, Neon, Boston’s Bistro, Wine Gallery, etc……. I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and o n and on and on and on and on ,……….,,,,,,,…………..,,,,,,,,,,,,,,……….. and on and on and on and………,,,,,,,,,………

  8. Jeff February 26, 2009 / 5:25 pm
    Canal Street Tavern really does it for me. I’ve been to music joints in other cities and this place really has a special vibe. Im starting to like OE alot too.

    I should WYSO and WDPR to that for public radio that does its own home-grown programming.

  9. Don Shurts February 27, 2009 / 12:09 am
    David, Thanks for bring this great reminder to us all. I think we, as individuals, also need to pause and count our blessings. We really are blessed. And as you have stated and all the comment echo, there are many, many things to appreciate about our great Dayton Ohio and the entire Miami Valley. And a possitive attitude is contagious. As a local Realtor I’m blessed to meet so many great people in Dayton Ohio and I am thankful for each of them.
  10. Greg Hunter February 27, 2009 / 9:23 am
    Gene – I think you mistake my intent. I have not problem with the Bible as long as we use MY interpretations . I love the Catholics, the best people, but they do what they are told and that is stifling. But as a reared Baptist I like the Catholic tude better than the Baptists. Love the Fish Frys I am giving to God in a social and slow way. Alter Tonight and I am missing it BOOOOOO! Have Fun.
  11. Gene February 27, 2009 / 9:45 am
    Most Catholics do not do what they are told – you are just going to have to trust me on this one.

    At the end of the day, all it is about is being charitable, sticking to the golden rule, and not acting like a criminal or behaving in a way that benefits only you (a lot of CEO’s are NOT CAHTHOLIC)

    I found it interesting, though, that Catholics are a 50/50 split on being Democrats or Republicans. So Esrati and you can only hate half of them :)

    There are a lot of religions where hoarding money and wanting to tax everything is site to benefit You is the way of life, yet when it comes to paying taxes they use the tax exempt card to buy everything, for almonds to wine. Some Catholics do this, but it is widely practiced (by Catholics) to pay sales tax (and all taxes for that matter, as a matter of good faith and doing the “right” thing) Don’t get me wrong, they take advantage of the tax exempt status on bigger things, but at least it is not in the name of MINORITY and AFFILIATION like other religions, if you know what I mean.

  12. Drexel Dave Sparks February 28, 2009 / 9:01 am
    “At the end of the day, all it is about is being charitable, sticking to the golden rule, and not acting like a criminal or behaving in a way that benefits only you”

    I know quite a few atheists who are charitable, stick to the golden rule, and who don’t act like criminals or behave in ways that only benefit them, so…why does one need a group of people organized in a group under the banner of religion to achieve this?

  13. Gene February 28, 2009 / 9:52 am
    you don’t need religion, i never said that. My quote has nothing to do with one particular religion. re-read if you need. I only pointed out the CEO/catholic thing bc Greg likes to rag on catholics a little.

    anyone at anytime with or without anybody else can achieve this, with or without religion.

    atheists are people that cant decide to shit or get off the pot – and they all convert to something moments before their plane crashes.

  14. jane February 28, 2009 / 4:35 pm
    Here are the top 10 things I like most about living in Dayton.
    #10. We see signs of Spring in March.
    #9. Flying in and out of Dayton is convenient.
    #8. The price of parking is cheap, cheap, cheap!
    #7. The Art Scene; great musical talent (love Danny Voris Project), incredible artists (Jeffrey Rutledge, Hamilton Dixon, just to name a few).
    #6. The Cannery Arts District
    #5. Front St.
    #4. DLM
    #3. Webster St. Market
    #2. Urban Krag
    And the # 1 thing I love about living in Dayton is:
    Riding my bike to work!
  15. Greg Hunter March 1, 2009 / 8:46 am
    Greg likes to rag on catholics a little.

    I think you will find that I am an equal opportunity offender, but as a group I like the Catholics the best. Probably because they had to try the hardest to Brain Wash people away from Paganism or what should be known as THE Worship God’s Greatest Creation – the Earth and all his creatures. Not the trash man came up with like ohh Religion and the ICE.

  16. Gene March 1, 2009 / 9:39 am
    There are Catholics in Hungry Greg. Beware

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