The last couple of weeks have brought back a lot of memories. I went to college in North Dakota at the University in Grand Forks. Twice in the late seventies and early eighties, I fought floods not unlike the one Fargo is facing presently – filling sand bags, walking dikes and watching for looters (with a .22 or maybe that was Minot in 68).
Now, if you have never been to North Dakota, you probably think it’s nothing but snow, cows and wheat … which is pretty much true. But one thing it is is work ethic, persistence and community. Everyone bands together. We all had a common adversary – the weather. Nobody had the time to hate their neighbor – they needed them.
What’s going on in Fargo right now is “case in point.” Your neighbor, your competition and you are all facing same thing – and if everybody doesn’t step up to the plate and succeed, everybody loses.
In fact, Fargo’s Mayor didn’t want the men of the city to evacuate, he needed them to look after the dikes. A levy breach, no matter where it’s at, renders the the same result – disaster for everyone!
Now to be fair. Fargo is in a unique position. The resources in North Dakota are significant. While there aren’t a lot of people – only about 650,000 – there’s more to success than just numbers. Located in North Dakota are two Air Force bases (when was the last time you saw Preditor Drones doing surveillance for a weather disaster?) but probably more important are it’s U.S. Senators – Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad. With a new administration in control of the White House, opportunities for states arise. In fact, Conrad was the first senator outside of Illinois to endorse Barak Obama – a risky move considering Hillary Clinton was considered a “shoe in” for the nomination.
Well that risk has paid off – working smart. Fargo is getting everything possible from the federal government and it’s working. Fargo is beating the flood of history. As of today, only five house have flooded – FIVE.
When all it’s all done and the water has subsided, I firmly believe that Fargo and North Dakota will win. Its what we know. Use all of our resources, work hard and work smart.
When I started this entry, I didn’t know what message I was trying to convey. Teamwork, not giving up, expecting nothing less than success or maybe just pride in the homeland.
Take a lesson from Fargo. Use one of the above messages or find your own. With all the “bandwagon” talk of recessionary doom and gloom its easy to feel sorry for yourself.
The bandwagon didn’t stop in Fargo! They have “bigger fish to fry.”
Wave the bandwagon by … be like Fargo and step up!
I can reached on Twitter at @clayforsberg