Dream it, believe in it and then expect it!
When people truly believe in what they are doing and are totally committed to the reasons for their journey, their project or their purpose, then it is time to move to the next step. Whether from a community or individual point of view, once we have set our goals, made our plans and believe in our reasons and efforts to accomplish them, it is then time to expect the desired results. If we truly believe in the reason we are doing something, expecting the desired outcome is essential in making the dream and plan a reality.
I was watching a movie recently that featured construction of a railroad across the treacherous terrain of the Alps in southern Europe. Train tracks over and across the Alps between Venice, Italy and Vienna, Austria were built long before there was even a train in existence that could make the trip. They built the tracks anyway because they knew that, someday, a train would come. They had a dream, believed in it and moved past the believing part and began expecting the results they had worked and dreamed so hard to achieve. Eventually the train came.
As a community we have made plans to build, to create and to improve our quality of life. We have taken the steps, initiated the projects and proceeded with the belief that the projects will improve and better the community. Now is the time to get in the mind set of expecting the results. We have laid the tracks and the foundations for improvement so let’s stand together as a community and expect the train to come.
Two out-of-town visitors came to our town recently and they were looking for antique shops to browse and local places of interest to visit. Do you know what questions they were asking? Well, here they are: How far is it to the art gallery in Bainbridge? Do you have any literature on the murals in Colquitt? How far is Thomasville from here? This last one really hit home with me – Can you tell me how to get to Havana, Florida?
I grew up in Calvary, and every Friday night of my entire youth, until I got my driver’s license, I tagged along with my parents as they joined friends for dinner in Tallahassee. Each week, we would meet two of their friends at their store in downtown Havana. We always arrived early, and while we waited for their shop to close, I would walk the streets of downtown Havana. This was in the early 70s and Havana was booming. However, shortly after that, Havana began to die. Downtown businesses closed, crime increased and Havana became just a blur of buildings you quickly passed by on the way to Tallahassee.
The community was at a crossroads and had decisions to make if they were going to survive and prosper again. The community came together, made a plan and worked the plan. Today, people are asking me how to get to Havana because it is a desired destination full of shops and cafes, and all of it is marketed very well.
Donalsonville and Seminole County have not traveled down the same road as Havana; however, for us to grow, our community is in need of a major shift in our thinking. We need to turn our progress thinking into some progress acting – and we are.
Great things have happened recently in our community and even greater things are planned. Our city and county governments, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, the Industrial Development Authority and the BetterWay Initiative are all comprised of dedicated community-minded individuals who are all in agreement that our best is yet to come if we just all work together, pool our thoughts and assets and make the great things happen.
Last Tuesday evening there was not a seat available in the city council chambers as local citizens packed the room to request the creation and establishment of a Seminole County museum, art gallery and cultural center to be housed in the historic fire house on Woolfork Avenue in downtown Donalsonville. It’s a great idea and one that – with a lot of work – can happen as long as we as a community come together and push for it. We must dream it. We must believe in it. And, we must work together to expect it and make it happen
When the next person asks me for directions to some other little community in our area, I want to shift their attention to Seminole County and show them a community that showcases where we have been, where we are and where we are going.
If we create an atmosphere of excitement and family fun, if we work together to accentuate our positives and add additional ones to the list, the people and the benefits will come.
And, most importantly, we will have made life here in our community better for the people that live and work here each and every day – each of us.
Someone said to me once, “David, this isn’t Bainbridge” inferring that we are a smaller town with a smaller budget. We may be smaller, but our dreams are bigger. No, this isn’t Bainbridge, but it IS Donalsonville and Seminole County. We have the people and the assets right now to make greater things – like a museum, arts and cultural center – happen in our community. Let’s come together as individuals and businesses and develop a plan to make our community shine.
Watch out South Georgia, the citizens of this community are waking up to the reality of living in a brighter and shinier city on a hill. We are all that is great about Seminole County. Let’s show the world why.
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