Thinking Out Loud: Pointing out the positives

As an opinion columnist I’m always looking for something to write about which will stir up debate.

I don’t do it because I want to offend people (though that’s usually what happens), but rather because I want to enlighten them.

I do it because far too many people in our society are oblivious to what goes on around them every day.

Maybe that’s an offensive statement, but it’s true.

Too many people live their lives with tunnel vision, only focused one on thing —themselves.

I’m not that old, but I’m old fashioned.

I like to know my neighbors. I like to know what’s going on in my neighborhood. I like to know what’s going on in the city as a whole.

It’s not that I’m nosy and trying to get in everybody’s business, I just believe in the concept of community.

I like to help others when I see an opportunity and I like to fix things.

As such, I point out flaws in the system because I want to see them fixed.

While there are controversial topics which catch my attention from time to time, I don’t want to be labeled as a complainer. I want to be known as a realist.

I also want to be known as someone who cares.

There are things in Shawnee which could be improved just like with any city, but the reality is things really aren’t that bad here.

I voice my opinion because I want to see it stay that way.

Yes, as an opinion columnist I do often point out the negative. But I also like to point out the positive when I see it.

We don’t have to wait a week to get our roads plowed when it snows. We don’t often have crater sized potholes on our main streets. We’re not forced to lay off police officers because we can’t afford to pay them.

Our infrastructure isn’t collapsing upon itself (yet), fire and ambulance services have excellent response times and we’ve been pretty good about avoiding problems with corruption and dirty politics.

We have vibrant businesses of all shapes and sizes with more and more companies wanting to set up shop here. We have beautiful, well maintained parks and a variety of fun family friendly festivals and community events.

It’s important to remember there are many cities in the Kansas City metro area who not able to make these same claims.

We should be proud of these accomplishments, but if we want to maintain this reputation of being a quality place to live we need more than a handful of people to care.

The motto for the City of Shawnee is “Good Starts Here”.

We need to work together as community to make sure good stays here.

Marty Augustine is a Shawnee-based writer. To read more of his work, visit his blog at

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