We tried that before

How many times have you heard “we tried that before, and it didn’t work”?

There is a lot to learn from studying our past, and the lessons of history are filled with failure, but a great idea might require the perfect conditions to be successful.

Perhaps tiny shifts in the economy, technology, or our physical world create massive waves linked to social progress?

Currently, a group of people in our region are working feverishly to transform Elmira, Corning and the surrounding Finger Lakes into premier destinations for innovators, artists, and other creative types at the cutting edge of economic development. They are also paying close attention to the wonderful energy already present in our communities thanks to the thoughtful folks who were fortunate enough to be born here or discover this region on their own.

Long timers, be warned. They (we?) may revisit some ideas that failed once upon a time.

If you are one of the lucky few to have local experience with one of those failures, please don’t walk away shaking your head. Rather, open up about what happened. Share all the gory details. Somewhere in that story could be the key to what went wrong.

Let’s set aside embarrassment and finger pointing and replace them with honest conversation. Because the conditions now could be perfect for that great idea, and no matter what happened in the past, we will all benefit from these transformations.

So, friends and neighbors, let’s all say this instead: “We tried that before, and when it didn’t work, we figured out what went wrong and tried again.” It might take a little longer, but happily-ever-after is worth the effort.