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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Pleasing Everyone

A miller and his son were taking their old run-down donkey to sell at market, when they passed a group of girls, who laughed at how foolish the miller was to have a donkey and yet be walking. So the miller put his son on the donkey. Further down the road they passed some old people who scolded the miller for allowing his young son to ride, when he should be riding himself. So the miller removed his son and mounted the donkey himself. Further along the road, they passed some business travelers who said that if he wanted to sell the donkey the two of them should carry him or he’d look exhausted and be worthless. So the miller and his son bound the donkey’s legs to a pole and carried him. When they approached the town the people laughed at the sight of them, so loud that the noise frightened the donkey, who kicked out and fell off the bridge into the river and drowned. The embarrassed miller and son went home with nothing. The lesson they learned that day – you will achieve nothing by trying to please everyone.

I’m sure you are thinking, great Heath another old fable about a foolish miller, but nothing like that ever happens in today’s world. I disagree. Today more than ever we are bombarded at every turn with people’s opinions through social media. People 24-7 constantly telling us what we should do or how we should live.

Sports are a great platform for learning. In the sport of football for example Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh and Jimmy Johnson won a TOTAL of four games in their first seasons as NFL head coaches. Between them, they went on to win 11 Super Bowls- turns out they did not try to please everyone in those first seasons, they simply did not listen to everyone’s advise, they stayed the course and preserved all the way to the Hall of Fame.

The world is hard enough and for the life of me I don’t know why people feel the need to crush other people’s dreams (their own insecurity I guess). It seems like anytime you want to build something new automatically people say “That will never work (or last)”. It seems as if everyone has opinions of how you should or should not proceed.

As we continue to build Tama County’s economy, there are going to be times where we find ourselves on the receiving end of the negative words and actions of people. These people seem hell-bent on doing their best to derail whatever progress and/or success we’ve achieved (or strive to achieve) simply because they want to drag us down and make themselves feel better. We need to stop trying to please everyone, for if we do, we will surely be just like the miller and his son pleasing no one.


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