Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Eeyore problem

I was talking to a friend the other day who is also a Cleveland transplant (me from Minnesota and her from Buffalo), and we commented that hometown pride seems less common than in our previous homes. Then I read Connie Schultz's article from this past Sunday's Plain Dealer. She said of the citizens of Cleveland: "We're not just modest, we're mopey. Too many Eeyores, not enough Tiggers."

I've never believed that attitude is innate; I belong more to the Viktor Frankl school of thought: the one thing that you can always choose or control is your attitude. It's why I loved running a scrappy theatre company, why I love playing church organ, and even why I adore the tv show "Glee." My optimism that we can accomplish great things is based on the institutions of the public library, schools, and churches. And I find that optimism best expressed in great hymns of faith (as well as great musical theatre).

We all face challenges, and the "rust belt" has had suffered more than its fair share in a struggling economy. But that's no reason not to maintain a positive attitude and to work hard for a brighter future. Churches are one place that optimism, the "Good News," should be a bright light of hope for our community and the world.

1 comment:

  1. Tom, I agree with you and Frankl, the one thing we do have control over is our attitude.

    However, having been born and raised in northeastern Ohio, I never realized that this area had an Eeyore problem until I moved away. When I lived elsewhere, I experienced first hand how other parts of the state and country really do have a different attitude toward life.

    In northeastern Ohio there is a very pervasive "can't do" approach to problems, but I think many of us are blind to it because we've never known anything else.

    The first step to changing our attitudes is realizing what our attitudes are. But hopefully this realization and a positive vision for the future will lead to the desire and commitment necessary to make it a reality. Thanks for pointing this out in your Blog.