By BARBARA GREEN
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
At the January Bowie Chamber of Commerce Banquet emcee Dr. Arn Anderson drew upon that quote from Alexander Graham Bell to create a prolific stream of discussion asking residents what they would do to “Boost Bowie.”
He encouraged everyone to stop looking at the closed doors and find new ones to open. It hit home with me.
I spend much of my time writing dire and sad news, so I often find it hard to start each day with a happy face.
I try hard not to be a “whiner” because my life is so very blessed amidst with all the turmoil and sadness in the world.
Let’s face it, Bowie is in a funk and really who could blame it.
Our hospital closed down after nearly 50 years, losing about 130 jobs. That tax district election was very nasty and divisive for our community, often pitting neighbor against neighbor.
Then we have the energy downturn that has hit north Texas hard with hundreds of people laid off right here in our own town.
The cost of living goes up, while wages stagnate. It is no wonder a bad mood abounds.
As I began thinking about how we can improve this negative mindset, I recalled the campaign used to get approval for the bonds that funded construction of the City of Bowie Auditorium back in 1925.
The words came from an ad in The Bowie Blade and they jumped off the page at me because it is all applicable for where we are today in 2016.
Think well of Bowie. Believe in its possibilities. Feel that your big opportunity is here — among the friends who admire and respect you.
Talk loyally of your community. Grasp every chance to spread the gospel of faithfulness to your hometown.
Act what you think and talk. Give your efforts to anything that means improvement for Bowie.
Buy from your home merchants. Shoulder your share of civic responsibility. Be generous with good cheer.
Help build Bowie bigger and better! Let’s go!
I can’t think of a more perfect mantra for our community 91 years later.
Yes, things are tough; but, we have been here before and we will pull ourselves out of it once again.
We can’t sit here glumly pondering the gloom and waiting for someone to sweep in to save the day.
I know that is easier said than done. I know positive vibes and smiley faces won’t fix our community’s problems. However, Bowie has a lot more going for it than many may want to recognize or remember.
How do we start?
First, there has to be a change in mindset.
We need to make a start at the very basic level to build trust in order to work together.
You need to trust that you can change your situation. Even if you don’t know how that is going to happen or how things will turn out, trust.
People bash our town for lots of things and some of it may be well-deserved. However, if you continue to make your life here there must be something you like about it.
No one is forced to live anywhere.
Please take a moment and think about all the good things our community has to offer. Here are few things the News staff bounced around:
• Outstanding school athletic facilities where play teams love to play.
• Strong church families that step up in times of need.
• Active youth programs like the Boy Scouts.
• Programs for seniors like Meals on Wheels ,powered by volunteers.
• Small businesses often willing to go that extra step for a customer.
• Hometown business leaders investing in their community.
Please take a moment to think of three positive things in your town?
What can I do to make a difference?
Could it be volunteering to call bingo at the nursing home?
How about sitting with a sick friend so their spouse can get a break?
Take a position on a community board to have a say in what happens.
Deliver meals on wheels?
How about a new coat of paint on the front of your business or washing the windows.
Bowie City Councilor Jim Graham made a comment recently that a coat of paint couldn’t hurt anything. I agree.
Bowie News employees will tell you I always harp on looking your best to present your self to the public. I believe in that.
If you look rumpled and raggedy, it shows and it reflects in your confidence and manner. The same could be said for your business, your home and your community.
Maybe if each one of us tackles our own small part of the world it can only make things better.
The Bowie News is launching its “Build a Better Bowie 2016” campaign. In the following months we want to focus on the good things in our community and explore solutions and ideas.
The campaign will address positive and viable assets in Bowie, its people, its business and most importantly ideas and solutions that can innovate and move us all forward.
BBB will be a forum for positive input we hope can stimulate action and pride in our city.
A place for constructive debate, not the typical gripe-fest.
Those wishing to bash and belittle need not post or submit. Debate is encouraged, not scorn.
We know the problems, let’s talk solutions and work together toward turning our community around.
These are the topic areas:
• Assets (both tangible and intangible)
We invite you to visit www.buildabetterbowie.com. where you can post your comments, photos, ideas and suggestions.
The News retains the right to reject any submission that does not meet the criteria for positive input.
During the following weeks, The Bowie News will be presenting stories on all those topics. Stop by the News office and pick up a BBB decal or a placard to show your support.
What door are you willing to open and step through to “Build a Better Bowie?”