An Open Letter To Yakima’s Critics
I just read ANOTHER post about how Yakima is the worst place to live. I see these posts and I am always struck how this is just not my experience.
I may be weird or out of my gourd, but I love Yakima. Lisa and I talk all the time how much we love being here. Its home. If you don't understand that, then I urge you to keep reading.
First, off, I am thankful that my experiences have allowed me to live numerous places. A career in radio means living a nomadic/gypsy lifestyle. It allows perspective. I have had the honor of traveling the country and experiencing some pretty diverse places. I have learned no matter where you live, there is almost always a down side to where you are at that moment.
Now, before you consider being negative as an option, allow me to challenge you with some things to consider before going all negative-nelly.
You Have Never Been To Detroit
I had a job offer from a station in Detroit in early 2000’s. I did my market research and knew there were problems in the city. This was confirmed during my 4 days spent there. It was not where I wanted to raise my kids. Crime was rampant (it made Yakima look like San Diego), the town was filthy (much like San Francisco is today) and the people seemed unhappy and depressed.
I chose not to take the job. It was not for me. I am sure it is someone else’s cup of tea, it was just not mine. So I choose not to live there.
Are You Happy In Yakima? If Not, There Is A Door...
It’s easy to complain. It’s harder to do something about it. There are those of us who genuinely love living in Yakima. This is coming from a guy who chose to live here instead of Monterey California.
Oh, it's beautiful. But I was not happy there. The taxes were repressive, the cost of living was depressing. People were jerks. I found that my home, was no longer my home - but rather a place I just lived. So I made a change. There are plenty of Cali expats here in Yakima who can relate to this.
If you live In Yakima, you most likely pay taxes and work here. If you don’t like it, you are free to find a place that more suits you. If you are not happy in Yakima, you should consider this not for my sake, but for yours.
Pessimism is Easy. So Is Positivity, If You Practice It
I know this because I am a recovering negative pessimist.
That’s not redundant. I was super negative. Quick to judge while ignoring the positive. I found myself hearing others say the same things I would say. I discovered them to be repulsive. "Do I sound like that? That sounds horrible." So I decided to put into practice what mom always said, “If you don't have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Mom was right then, and she’s right now. Having lived on both sides of the fence, being positive is the better choice. Studies show, having a positive outlook helps with your quality of life and well-being. It's also contagious. Being positive is not only good for you, it's good for those around you.
No One Wants To Hear It
Honestly, you are not being clever, original or insightful by knocking the very town you live in. In fact, being negative makes you small. "Yakima SUCKS!" Or, "Yep, that's Crackima for ya."
Hey, that's clever and original. You should be a comedian with that sharp, rapier wit.
You have nothing to gain by being negative. No one wants to read it. No one wants to hear it and no one wants to be around it.
Just because people agree with your opinion, doesn’t make it any more attractive. It just means you are surrounding yourself with other negative people and ultimately breeding misery. Why? Because you may be living proof (and I hope this is not the case), that misery loves company. Is that how you want to spend your life? Being miserable?
Be The Change You Want To See
Yeah, it's a bit trite. But it is spot on.
It’s good to have an opinion. But you are only going halfway when you constantly vent or criticize. It's taxing for others. It's draining. Don't be that guy/girl. We have enough of those.
If Yakima is your home, be proud of it - flaws and all.
If you are tired of crime, attended city council meetings.
Vote quality people into office. Volunteer. Serve. Do the work.
Yakima has some great hard working folks who love beer, the Seahawks, the great outdoors and their family. Truly some of the nicest and genuine people in any town I have spent time in.
Yakima is what you make it. It’s your choice. There’s your power. You have the choice to make it better or worse. Choose to elevate yourself and those around you.
In every city I have lived in, I could easily find the negative and harp on it. But what good does that do? How does that help? How does that contribute? Do I really feel better being negative?
Mostly, why do you feel you have to constantly tear down something others love? Do you find joy in that? Is this what bring you happiness?
If so, this may say more about you than you realize.