perception-is-realityOne of my favorite Bishops of the Church (United Methodist) was family friend Monk Bryan.  Monk was one of the most “un-bishopy” bishops I ever knew.  He, like a handful of others of his status, was unpretentious and down-to-earth.  He never inhaled his status so deeply that it changed who he was.

Monk was a storyteller.  He loved sharing stories of all sorts: funny, moving and just plain silly.  He was known for this stories and his infectious laugh.

One of my favorite stories he shared with me was of a time when he was growing up in a tiny community called Goat Hill.  Over the years of his growing up in that community, he heard people talking about the future of their hometown.  No one had moved into that town in years, all the young families were moving out for “greener pastures” and no new businesses had moved in since “I-don’t-know-when.”  Other businesses that had been a part of Goat Hill for many years were closing up or moving away to larger towns, in hopes of surviving.

In something of a panic, a few of the leaders of that community got together to discuss their town and its future.  One member of the community made a wild-sounding suggestion: “Why don’t we change the name of our town to something more appealing than Goat Hill?  Something that has some character to it, some pizzazz?  Surely we can come up with a name that would catch the attention of anyone who might be looking for a new place to call home or place for business.”

After much discussion, those present asked the old-timer if he had any suggestions.

He replied, “How about Angora Heights?”

Everyone’s attitude changed.  And the town turned around both economically and demographically in a matter of just a few years.

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Perception is reality…and sometimes attitude is everything. 

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