Proactive Observance

binoculars-1My entire day centered around simply two things which were to make sure there was a soft landing on a long and drawn out closing of a sale, and getting up to speed on a finalization that will take place later this month. I’m so very happy whenever we have a young hard working person deciding to make a commitment to owning their first home here in Mason City. That in itself should tell the City fathers that we’re on the right path towards becoming a more vibrant community. Yes, I believe we must take care of the needs of our aging population, but there must also be recreational activities for the younger residents so they will want to be part of our city’s progress. Whenever our youth can say they had a great evening after work or weekends with activities taking place right here in Mason City, then we’ll know we’re doing something right. In the darker days of our community’s past, I would hear too often of young people taking flying trips to Cedar Falls, Des Moines, or even Minneapolis. Road trips out of town are OK as long as they’re not done simply because we’re dearly lacking in things to do after hours.

As great things start happening in our community, I’m keeping a mindset to never rest on laurels of accomplishments—things can always be better. Someone said to me today, “You don’t seem to be afraid to tell it like it is and I consider that refreshing.” Yes, most people are too hung up on being overly forgiving whenever someone says or does something wrong. Mean spirited people gain strength by knowing most won’t challenge their words or actions. I consider it a sort of license to be bad. It all started with enabling parents and ends up affecting our communities as a whole. People who break oral or written contracts were likely enabled by their parents and much of our overly-forgiving public. Bullish people don’t like being challenged because they’re used to getting their way by being bullies. Some with whom we do business with have learned out of fear to rid themselves of their core beliefs to subsequently become onions. Have you ever noticed that onions have no cores? By peeling one layer at a time, you’ll find in the end nothing more than the last layer. In the old days we used to call people like that to be spineless jellyfish who cared naught for others. I recently received a copy of a letter sent to one of my clients wherein the author created subtle threats by making dark inferences as to what will happen if they don’t get what they want no matter how ridiculous. It all goes back to the enabling that likely took place from an early age.

In a brief visit with a downtown merchant today I made mention a way in which every business owner can benefit by taking a more active approach in the happenings going on in and around the Downtown. I used an example of how I just happened to notice someone looking at a locking door handle as they exited a building. Some weeks later that building was broken into through that door. Yes, the perpetrator was caught but what should have happened at the moment of that abnormal occurrence was to say, “Why are you looking at that doorknob?” That active approach places an evil-doer on the defense. What kind of response do you think you’d get for an answer? It’s not that we must always be on the lookout or constantly watching our backs, but to simply create a mindset of being in a continuous state of proactive observance. It really does work.