As an employee of the City of Neosho, I am constantly receiving all kinds of advice from well meaning citizens. Arm-chair quarterbacks are everywhere and have advice on virtually every subject.

As an employee of the City of Neosho, I am constantly receiving all kinds of advice from well meaning citizens.  Arm-chair quarterbacks are everywhere and have advice on virtually every subject.   
While most of the advice is well intentioned, it did set me to thinking.  Now that is a very dangerous area for me to retreat to as I may not only come back with information pertinent to the subject at hand, but may drag back a bunch of stuff that everyone was hoping that I had forgot about.  On a recent thinking walkabout I recalled some corrective instructions that I had intended to relay to one of my children twenty-five years ago.  This child would have been in their mid-teens at the time and had I been able to relay this information their entire life may have been radically different.  Probably not, but that is some more of the silt that muddies the stream of the wandering thoughts.  
Anyway, the advice that comes from the citizenry is often related to what we should do in addition to everything that is going on right now.   Ideas about how the City of Neosho would be impacted positively if we just put their plan into motion.  How we are in need of new restaurants, hotels, businesses and that we are losing families and especially our young to other areas because we lack in certain amenities.  While I agree with many of the ideas presented and observations made, it occurred to me on this thinking walkabout that perhaps we should recall the balance between quantity and quality.
While adding more things to do is not necessarily a bad move, it can diminish the ability to perfect what is already in place.  If we just keep expanding the palette, with each expansion taking some time, effort and capital, while existing programs, events or tasks will be required to donate from their resources.  
An alternative to this concept is the path that my thinking walkabout came to rest on.  Let’s focus on perfecting what we have.  This is going to be a very difficult task and will take some significant time and effort, but the end result will be very rewarding and profitable.  Perfecting what we have will fully demonstrate that we can be really good at something.  Surprisingly enough when you become really good at one thing, then it is easier to become really good at the next thing you attempt.  If you just keep adding items without perfecting what you are currently doing, the end result is a big pile of items that are just half-baked.  Some really good, really close to being great, but nothing perfected.  

Please recall that this won’t be easy.  Keep that thought in mind along with the fact that this is truly a time investment.  It also requires a total commitment to the extent that personal welfare and security can be sacrificed.   This can be completed when a single individual has such a level of commitment that they are willing to push everything to middle of table; money, marbles and chalk and continue with the conclusion that “If I win, I win.  If I lose, so be it”.  

Let’s stop looking to what we were, or even to what fantasy could be, but put shoulders to the wheel, noses to the grindstone and perfect what we are!
Paul Richardson is the director of public relations and events for the city of Neosho.