How we perceive ourselves affects things

Recently Business Insider had a list of “The 11 Most Miserable Cities in America” and Charleston WV finished number 1 (or should that be last?) as the most miserable city in America. Let me start by saying that having lived her for 10 years (and having spent 2 years in Huntington which finished as the second most miserable city) I can say with absolutely no hesitation that these ratings are complete bullshit.

Are there things that could be better about Charleston? Absolutely! But having lived in places like Washington DC, Atlanta GA, Charleston SC and others that is true for all of those places as well.

These ratings are “based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the US Metro areas based on Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget” (according to the website) and that is where the problem is. Do I believe these interviews were done fairly and accurately? Yes (I have no reason not to) BUT the problem isn’t whether the cities are miserable places or not. The problem is how people perceive themselves and where they are. Here in WV there is a tendency to look down upon ourselves and to truly think the grass is always greener somewhere else. There are so many negative things we hear about WV that it becomes easy to start to believe that garbage but the truth is, most of it is truly garbage.

There are people here who think that any idea that comes from this area probably already has been thought of elsewhere so if it’s not being done, it’s probably not that good. In some cases that might be true but in other cases, it’s not true at all

There are people who complain about a lack of entertainment because big cities have more things going on but if I want to go listen to music on a Thursday evening I certainly have that option. In a bigger city there might be a lot more options but whether I have 5 options or 500 options, I can only go to one place at a time.

I could list many of the things that make Charleston a wonderful place to be (and have at www.whycharlestonwv.com) but the problem isn’t the city or the lack of things to do. Until people can start to feel good about themselves they will always think bad about where they are and what they do…and that is a shame.

We need to stop being the dog at the door. When inside the dog wants to go outside but when outside he wants to be inside. The other side of the door is great, but so is this side.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

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