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Positivity, Optimism and Walt Disney

A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!

‘There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow…Shining at the End of Every Day!’  If you’ve ever been to Disney World and visited the great GE ‘Carousel of Progress’ Exhibit – no doubt, you’ve heard this wonderful song.  By the way, as my kids well know, it’s my number one all time personal favorite and it plays at every interval – as Disney walks us thru the past century and each of the phases of American progress.  A genuine, optimism.  A ‘Can Do’ Spirit.  All at the heart of American progress – and so very much embodied in the spirit of Walt Disney, the man.  

Walt Disney was not only an artist and an entrepreneur.  A visionary businessman, the creator of Mickey Mouse and much more.   But most importantly, he was an optimist.  He was one of those rare people – who ‘believed great things into being.’ 

So, as we go about our daily lives – let us be guided by the optimistic spirit of Walt Disney – Instead of seeing thousands of unused, untapped acres of land in California or Florida, let’s see theme parks where families can create lifetime memories together and children can see their dreams come true. Instead of seeing simply a mouse or a duck – let’s see a mouse named ‘Mickey’ with an engaging personality or a duck named ‘Donald’, a fun loving, unique and entertaining character.  And, let’s approach life– not as a drudgery, or a bore – but instead let’s see it as an opportunity to afford others the chance to fulfill their full potential.  And of course, for ourselves, let’s see life as an exciting adventure – bursting with possibilities.  All very much in the spirit of Walt Disney.

Optimism in a Small Town

Growing up in a small town means your world is a little, well smaller! And, this can be a very good thing.  Smaller towns have close knit communities where the bonds of friendship are strong and in turn can offer great support to each and every individual.   In so doing, these smaller communities can provide a sense of boundless optimism. Having a strong core of friends, family, and importantly neighbors that use positive energy to invigorate the community and instill individuals with an exciting, positive outlook on life.

Importantly, children who grow up in small towns have a wonderful chance to develop ‘can-do’ attitudes and learn how to tackle the problems that they will no doubt one day encounter.  One of my favorite aspects of any small towns is the intense sense of loyalty – and the desire to either stay in, or perhaps return to, the community where you grew up.  People in a small town are invested in their community.  And, in a very real and meaningful way – see it as their home.  Truly their lifetime home.  And, as such there is a genuine pride – that so naturally breeds an optimism and desire to make sure that their hometown is the best that it can possibly be.  All driven by an upbeat vision of the possible and a desire for continual progress.

Optimism drives small towns. And, as we are beginning to see throughout New Hampshire and across our country – small towns are making a dramatic comeback. Turning around and on the path to a bright future.  In other words, ‘A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.’  

Small Town Experiencing An Exciting Rebirth – Franklin, New Hampshire

"The optimist looks at the horizon and sees an opportunity; the pessimist peers into the distance and fears a problem."

– William Arthur Ward

The only way we can turn the tides in our small towns is by believing we can. Our neighbors in Franklin, NH have done just that. Franklin struggles with many of the same issues experienced by Newport. A once prosperous mill town, Franklin has seen a steady decline due to limited job opportunities and an aging infrastructure.  But Franklin’s local government and small business owners have been hard at work to change the trajectory. 

Flanked by the Winnipesaukee River and nicknamed the Three Rivers City, Franklin is in the prime location for something special. So Marty Parichand, a local entrepreneur has seized the initiative and begun to make some great things happen.  Marty owns Outdoor New England, a high end white water kayaking shop, one of only two in all of New England. He knew Franklin was home to something incredible and is leading the community in the building of a white water kayaking park, transforming Franklin into a tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts around the country. Mill City Park will drive the local economy, bring new businesses, new jobs, new residents into town. And equally important, this visionary initiative is in the process of reinvigorating the spirit of the community.  Replacing a sense of hopelessness and silent despair with a ‘can do’ strength and a genuine belief that, yes, anything is possible.

So, ‘hats off to our friends in Franklin’ for their optimism, their hard work, and their commitment to their community. Optimism breeds opportunity and Mill City Park is the real life manifestation of an exciting dream.

Enthusiastic Support For Veterans In The Nation’s Most Patriotic State

The Granite State community prides itself on its veteran community, and has one of the highest concentrations of veterans anywhere in the country, with nearly 1 in every 10 residents having served our country.  So, it’s no surprise that New Hampshire, the ‘Live Free or Die’ State, was designated the ‘Most Patriotic State in the Nation’ in a recent survey.

The optimism and pride that our community displays toward our veterans is truly unmatched. We see it every day with the numerous charities, organizations, and community-driven events that work to give thanks to our veterans and their families. I think of the incredible work that Phil and Julie Taub are doing with Swim with a Mission; Natalie Healy honoring her late son with the Dan Healy Foundation; Veterans Count of Easter Seals and all of their daily ‘one on one’ work with veterans, the charity races and festivals throughout New Hampshire; and of course Children of Fallen Patriots, Liberty House, and so many more organizations and volunteers.  And, let’s not forget our local VFW’s and American Legion Posts, where veterans are given the opportunity to build a close-knit community with fellow veterans. The incredible optimism and patriotic spirit that our beautiful state possesses is something to be in awe about! I hope you’ll consider joining the effort to make a difference by volunteering for a local veteran charity as well.

Profile of the Week:  Walt Disney

Walt Disney, as a young boy was raised on his family’s farm in Missouri and had a paper route at the age seven.  Who would have ever thought that this young man would go on to win more Academy Awards than any other person in history.  22 Oscars and 59 Nominations.  And meanwhile also become one of the most respected men in America, bringing joy and laughter to millions of people truly around the world. 

Walt Disney was committed to success and defying the odds. You’ve got to love the fact that he was consistently able to maintain his enthusiasm and optimism – even when meeting with temporary defeat.  He brought this tenacity to all his endeavors.  And, of course, some were successful and some not so much. While we know Walt Disney as the man who created Mickey Mouse and Space Mountain, we are to be reminded that Walt Disney defined the odds and when others said it couldn’t be done.  He always kept the faith that success was just beyond the horizon.  Many said he was crazy to purchase thousands of acres in the middle of Florida to build a theme park.  But he persevered and succeeded.  The same was true when starting his career as an animator/cartoonist – when animation was far from a an ever day reality.

Positivity, Optimism - Walt Disney, a role model for the maxim that with belief, anything is possible. 

Quotes Of The Week:  Optimism

Nancy and Ronald Reagan

“What we can borrow from Ronald Reagan... is that great sense of optimism. He led by building on the strengths of America, not running America down.”  Rudy Giuliani

“Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time.”  Norman Cousins

“Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough.”  Richard M. DeVos

“It is the hopeful, buoyant, cheerful attitude of mind that wins. Optimism is a success builder; pessimism an achievement killer.”  Orison Swett Marden

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”  Lucille Ball

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