Many of you have read the excellent article by David Goe in the Daily Sentinel entitled "Let's add some culture; let's not be Junk Town" that came out earlier last week (May 13). If you haven't read it, you should definitely do so. One of the things I took from it is that we need to stop joining the angry mob in our community and start pitching in to help instead.

In the article, Mr. Goe states:

"Our self-deprecating attitude toward our chosen hometown is troublesome. If we don’t value our self-worth and take pride in our community, it won’t matter how many bike trails we build. Our self-sabotaging behavior built on decades of pessimism will continue to hold us back."

I couldn't agree more. As evident in marriages, businesses, raising our children and the like, pessimistic attitudes yield themselves to the most dangerous mindset to have. Complacency. Complacency sits back in the recliner, gets fat, scratches its hairy belly and says, "It sucks. What do you want ME to do about it?"

So, what are we doing about it? I'm not just talking about arts in the community (which is a HUGE DEAL), but I'm talking about the economy circling the drain. I'm talking about the young people with no hope for a future, that start doing drugs and having babies in their teens. Turning a blind eye to these issues, arguably, makes us a big part of the problem.

Some blame the elected officials. Finger pointing is easy to do, of course. Did you vote for the council members? Do you know who they are? My firm belief is that you cannot complain about your own community unless you are actively a part of trying to positively change it.

Heed this as a call to action. Instead of maligning the name of Grand Junction, let's try to change the WAY we talk about it. No more Junk Town.

Instead, let's ask what we can do to help. If you are concerned about the arts in our community, specifically mentioned in Mr. Goe's article, the Super Rad Art Jam is a place to start. You can contact them on Facebook. Ask what you can do to help preserve arts in the community.

Think our elected city council is ruining everything? Vote. The next election for city council members is in April 2017. The City of Grand Junction's website has some great information about voting and the officials.

The bottom line is that change starts with us first. The smallest thing we can do is stop verbally tearing down our beautiful valley and start asking what we can do to help it.