By Matt Nicholson
“Be careful, your attitude is contagious” is something I typed more than a decade ago.
Before I expand further on this thought, though, let me share some of my recent week as the mayor of the best small town in America.
During a recent department visit, I had a chance to spend half my day with the crew at Water Pollution Control. I have to say, of all our departments, they probably do the best job of letting me jump in and get dirty (sometimes literally).
During this visit, they took the time to show me how to operate some new equipment and let me polish up my skills by cleaning out a sanitary sewer line just off of West Oak Street. The rest of my visit was spent helping televise and clean storm lines on the city’s far west side. As strange as it sounds, thank you guys for accepting me as one of the crew and letting me slow down the pace with my inexperience.
Thank you to New Beginnings Recovery Center for inviting me to a recent graduation event. We are all familiar with what substance use looks like and forget that recovery happens every day. The road to recovery isn’t easy, but listening to the stories from around the room should provide hope for those in attendance.
While I usually have more questions than answers, if you are working on yourself and fighting the fight that is recovery, please don’t hesitate to catch me when you see me out and share your story so we can start breaking down the barriers and embrace recovery as a normal conversation.
As a cool drizzle fell, Seymour Christian Church with the help of local volunteers and nonprofit organizations hosted Night to Shine to celebrate our area residents with special needs and their caregivers. The event, which is normally a prom-style event, was switched to a parade event where guests got to be the center of attention.
Those watching, cheering and waving included the likes of some of the world’s greats. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Santa and Mrs. Claus and so many more came out to celebrate our parade participants.
Thank you to everyone who was involved for all you did to make this happen. Not even the weather could turn a smile into a frown, and please reach out if you would like to know more about how you can get involved with our local chapters of Mental Health America or The Arc.
Well, I guess it is time to wander back to that opening thought from above. “Be careful, your attitude is contagious” was probably something I said to my 9-year-old back then, but it is a lesson I have to remind myself of on a regular basis, as well.
Not long ago while delivering a proclamation for Leadership Jackson County’s YoJack program, I even used it as a teachable moment. I came out, and in my best Bill Nye the Science Guy voice, I started to deliver the proclamation until I got that look from one of the young people in the room.
Then I paused and started over with some energy and enthusiasm in my delivery. We talked afterwards about which one they would be more likely to enjoy and pay attention to. We discussed how if you approach things with a negative mindset that you will more than likely find flaws and look for ways to quickly get out of whatever it is you are doing.
When you approach the same things with a positive mindset, you are more likely to find solutions and be able to see the good in whatever you are working on.
Does it work every time? No, but I challenge you to give it a try and see the difference for yourself.
Today, I want to leave you with a quote from baseball hall of famer Wade Boggs: “A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, and it sparks extraordinary results.”
Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour.