It continues to be somewhat of a long stretch between posts, and for that I ask for your indulgence. I will not try to cram everything into one post, but will simply submit one significant thought for your consideration, and action.
For many years, in one form or another, wise leaders have often reminded us that the most important decision we make when facing any challenge is the choice of our attitude. The more I have thought about this true and tried exhortation the more I have come to believe it has great application and implication for all of us living and working in the Permian Basin.
When the odds seem to be stacked against you a positive attitude keeps you fighting and pushing for a little bit better every day. History is replete with examples of those who chose a positive attitude because the cause was worth the fight. One such glaring and obvious example was the founding of this great country we call home. When the odds were certainly against a band of committed revolutionaries in the face of great threats and seemingly insurmountable odds the Spirit of Liberty forced an attitude of possibility and we remain the beneficiaries of that values-based choice.
When there seemed to be no great future for the oil and gas industry in the United States an attitude of relentless discovery – against the odds – paved the way for what we now call a historical revival of energy independence for the United States. As a matter of fact, in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, I read the following quote,
“Roughnecks in the American Southwest are doing more than most foreign ministers to change the world.” Who would have ever thought of this reality just a few short years ago? But it is our reality.
Now, when our world changing region is stressed beyond its limits and in need of great change – even reformation – we find ourselves with a choice; a choice of historically significant action inducing attitude based in the value that what we do with what we have matters for the world. Allow me to express a few attitude choices…
1. We must choose a positive and optimistic outlook for public education. An attitude that rejects pessimism rooted in the past, and chooses optimism for a brighter future in public education in the Permian Basin.
2. We must choose an attitude of trust towards one another as many different individuals and organizations work for reform and progress in multiple sectors spanning from education, to healthcare, to infrastructure and more.
3. We must choose an attitude of being for the region as a great place to live and work and not just a place for a “tour of duty” or a place that has become too hard to live in.
4. We must choose an attitude of love for one another. An attitude that chooses to believe the best in one another and for one another rather than skepticism, and even pessimism, that hinders our unified progress. There will be hard and frank conversations but anything worth having is worth fighting together for.
5. We must choose an attitude of adventure that will allow us to be open to new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things that might even sound crazy.
This whole line of thought might sound a bit wishful. But I would submit to you that our choice of attitude – a positive attitude – is a choice between the stimulus of challenge and the response of action that will lead us to do more than we could have imagined in the first place.
There is no more room for attitudes of pessimism and doubt about what this region can be and should be. In short, we must start with a choice to believe that together we live in unprecedented times that will require a unique people to do great things. I believe we can; and alongside one another let’s choose an attitude that keeps on saying, “Yes, we can!” Even when many might say, “Get real.”