There are few things in my life that are near and dear to my heart. My family. My friends. My coffee. My job. My community.
Marshalltown is my hometown. I was born and raised here, and my husband and I specifically moved back to raise our family. When I drive around Marshalltown, I am filled with pride, excitement and hope. More than ever, I see vibrancy, growth and revitalization.
In my job, I witness the endless hours and hard work so many people are contributing to make
Marshalltown better every single day. Much of this work is behind the scenes and goes completely unseen.
The time, passion, energy, and sweat-equity given by numerous leaders, organizations, volunteers, businesses and residents is at a level most communities only dream of. It is a great honor to live in my hometown and be a part of the continued vibrancy, growth and revitalization of our community.
Our community is shared amongst all of us. Each and every one of us plays a part. Each and every one of us gets to be a part of our community and the list of ways to be a part of our community is endless.
Today, I am challenging you to be part of this community in one very simple way. From your fellow community member, in a world where we have so many choices, choose positivity.
Choose to be a part of our community. Choose to be a part of the solution. Choose to be a part of the change. Most importantly, choose to be a part of the positivity.
Of course, it is unrealistic to be positive all of the time. In my house we often say, “All we can do is be better next time.” Learn from the past to change the future.
Frequently you will hear, tomorrow is a new day. Yes, it is. However, each day is filled with moments where you can pause, reset and start over. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow.
Isn’t the act of practicing to consistently learn, repeat and grow? Think of anything in life you practice.
How about basketball? What if every time you missed a basket you waited until tomorrow to pick up the ball again. How about piano? What if every time you hit the wrong key, you waited until tomorrow to start another song?
Practicing positivity is simple. It stretches from what we think, say and do. It is listening. It is laughter. It is kindness. It is seeing the good in situations and people. It is choosing a smile.
One of my favorite things to do when I am out in public is to smile at strangers. Try it! It is amazing how almost every single time, they smile back. Positivity is contagious.
Marshalltown, starting at this very moment, will you join me in practicing positivity and see what we can do together for our community?
Amber Danielson is the executive director
of the Arts and Culture Alliance.