In May of this year, I attended the Mayor’s Breakfast as part of the Freedom Festival. Scott O’Neil, the CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment (a global sports and entertainment company that includes the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) and the New Jersey Devils (NHL)), was the keynote speaker at the breakfast event. He is also the author of “Be Where Your Feet Are.”
One of the chapters in his book was about assuming positive intent. He said, “Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different.”
He illustrated this point with a story of a police chief in a major US city that had high crime neighborhoods. The chief decided to throw an ice cream party for one of his most problematic neighborhoods. He ordered an ice cream machine and had a community party, building relationships with the police and neighbors. It worked – crime was reduced!
It has been a very contentious few years, especially on the national political scene. I believe if we can assume positive intent and give people the benefit of the doubt, this will help us build better relationships and a better community. With the upcoming school district vote, I hope we can assume positive intent on all sides of the issue.
Orem City Council