Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Together we can do anything

There's nothing we can't do.

It really is that simple. It's just a matter of our state of mind.

Whether it's a Bass Pro or an Ikea or a new bridge from Buffalo to Fort Erie, there's nothing we can't do.

It seems like every week I see a new group on Facebook suggesting that if we get a certain number of members, a certain eatery or retail outlet will come to Buffalo. The most recent one I noticed was Sonic drive ins.

And there's no reason we can't do it - no matter how many fans a cause gets on Facebook.

The first step is that we have to believe we can do it. And, frankly, that's the hardest step of all.

For some reason, Western New York has convinced itself that we're not worthy or capable of 
handling things like Bass Pro or Ikea. Maybe it's because of "wide right." Maybe it's because of "No goal." Maybe it's becuase we'e sat by idly and watched our beloved community slowly sink
into a cesspool. Or maybe we just don't get enough sunny days. For whatever reason, we're stuck in what President Jimmy Carter would surely call a "funk."

I used to joke that we were stuck in the "Bush recession." I would quickly follow it up with, "No. the first Bush."

Maybe that's part of the problem. We're so quick to blame others for our problems and look to others for leadership, when the country and specifically this region is so obviously devoid of leadership.

Instead what we need to do is take matters into our own hands. Silly little things like Facebook groups don't hurt. They lead us down the right path. But clicking "like" on a web page is pretty easy. We need to do more.

Yes, I said earlier that the first step was believing. And I also said it was the hardest part. Both true. But it's not the only part.

Believing you can ride a bike will only get you so far. Until you peddle, you'[re never going  anywhere. Actually, that's probably the best analogy I can think of. Picking this region up is a lot like riding a bike. We've done it before. We can do it again. But we have to peddle.

Join the Facebook groups. Write letters. And make phone calls.

A couple years ago I ran across a certain chain restaurant that we didn't have here. I fell in love. Not Love, love, of course, but you get the gist. I would plan vacations around where they had locations. My family will vouch for this.

I wrote emails. I made phone calls. And I suggested that my radio listeners do the same to get this particular restaurant in Western New York. Last year they opened their first location here. I'm hoping they open more. And - this is key - I'm frequenting this establishment that I begged for.

Now, I'll be honest. That is, afterall, what I try to do. My favorite restaurant didn't come here because of me. They came becuase there was demand. But I was part of that demand. And you can be part of the demand that brings your favorite thing here, too.


You just have to vocalize your desire. And work towards it.

Sitting by watching, you're pretty much assured to get nothing.

But if we try - together - we can do anything.