In the line of work that we do, it is very easy to get caught up in all the bad things that we see and hear every day. I sometimes find myself watching the news and reading the stories about crime and violence, and it begins to weigh on me.
It is also easy to allow the bad news to take over the way that I, and we, think about the good news when it comes along.
Over the past three years that I have worked here, I have had the chance to talk with and interview some truly amazing people. I have had the chance to see a family reacting to their father as he returns home from Iraq. I have met young people with illness who have found the strength to fight and move forward, and I have watched as this valley has gone from such extreme lows and has fought and worked so hard to move toward the future.
Over the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with an amazing young man. I am not going to say who, but it isn't hard to figure it out. Without going into detail, I have found myself inspired by this person.
He has shown me that there is a strength inside all of us that can push us through the hardest of situations. I've seen that a positive attitude, sometimes, is as important as the hard physical work that may be necessary.
I have faced a few challenges in my life, but I can say that I am very lucky because in the scheme of it all, they have been fairly minor.
This area is still pretty new to me. I am always meeting someone new, and I am always learning something about the history and the culture here that I never knew.
I've been here for only three and a half years and in that time, I've watched the driving industry in the area close up shop, leaving so many out of work and looking for answers.
The economy has hit the country pretty hard and in areas like ours, it has slammed us in the face, but things are starting to change.
The GM plant is going back to three shifts, and the recent announcements of new projects and new jobs coming to the area is exciting.
Trust me, I realize that there is a long way to go before we can sit back and say that everything is great, but the Valley is moving forward.
What troubles me is that I see that there is so much pessimism regarding such good news. Many people see the positive changes coming along as another chance for the rug to be pulled out once again.
But there is a chance that these changes are going to be of great benefit to the people and to the communities of the Valley.
What I've learned over my time here is that the people of this area are proud. They are proud of others who can do extraordinary things, and they are proud of what this valley has to offer.
It is an enormous community of people who are happy for the successes of one another and are willing to band together and make things right when they see that something is wrong.
So, why am I talking about these two things?
Because I think it is important to look at the good things that are going on. There is a lot to look at in the Valley and smile.
The future of this area can follow the lead of the people who make it up. Strong, productive and proud.