Main Street Blog
<h2>“Attitude - Mine is Always Positive”</h2>

“Attitude - Mine is Always Positive”

Street Talk
North Mississippi Herald
by Mickey Howley, Water Valley Main Street Association

When I’m sitting at the keyboard, my head in the “Street Talk” mindset, staring at the white screen, often I’ll think of something to write only to remember, well, I’ve already written on that subject before. Memory gets blurry, as it is something like 390 columns at this count. And I’m not taking about the countless occurrences of the shopping local theme, which just so you know, could be every column. Just trying to keep it fresh for all you 19 readers. (Yes, that’s counting my mom).

This week it’s about something I wrote before. Something intangible but essential to have in downtown and the whole town. That’s having a positive attitude. Folks from near and afar ask me what has changed in Water Valley. In my opinion, the most important thing is the collective attitude residents have about the place.  Back in mid-July 2012, I wrote about the power of positive attitude and someone who clearly had that. And how I came around to see attitude is critical. That column was about when in the late 1980s I was working in the service shop of the Mercedes-Benz dealership in New Orleans. Here is what I wrote about my boss.

“This was before e-mails, so he sent memos as internal messages and letters to suppliers and customers. He signed his name and afterwards he wrote, “Attitude—Mine is Always Positive.”  My division in this company was a small group of guys all about my age. We liked our boss, he treated us well, and we tried to do a good job for him. But we always secretly snickered about the “mine is always positive” line. It was a recurring theme in our daily sarcastic humor about work and life. The jokes and riffs were funny, but in retrospect, my boss was on to something.”

The next paragraph was about outside folks noticing the change in the Valley, about trying to explain the shift going on here. Here is how I summed it up.

“And in trying to put a finger on the reason for the return of Main Street—was it one thing or another that was the game changer or made a dramatic difference—it occurred to me that my old boss was right. Attitude is the difference and that is slowly what has changed in our town. People now feel like Water Valley is a place that matters, and that they individually can make a difference in the town’s development.”

That’s what I wrote in 2012 about attitude. I still think it is important and still think Water Valley’s attitude is positive. Collectively still strong and still think an individual can make a beneficial difference. The message just needs a little reminding every now or then.


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Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
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