The Wrapped Gift of 2014

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Scott WebbWe all get presents this time of year, and the gift of 2014 has been laid before us wrapped in dark paper, waiting for us to carefully turn back the edges and unfold the days.

What will we find inside?

Every year I’ve answered that question with “More of the same!” And I’ve always been dead right.

But not this year.

This year, I think we’re going to rally — our national decline cannot last forever. I think this is the year we start to turn things around.

For quite a while now, I’ve seen people just complaining and watching in disgust, hands on hips, as standards of courtesy and culture drop, or as another section of town becomes risky at night, but I’m starting to see the dawn of the idea that we do own this place, we have to live here, and the only way it’s going to get better is if we roll up our sleeves and pitch in ourselves.

Nothing can be expected of the stuffed shirts and dresses who head our political parties — that’s one promise they’ll actually keep — but the important work is always done person-to-person.

I base this on what I’m hearing in casual conversation over the holidays, and little items that crop up in the news that crawls across my desk.

It’s just a vibe; but when vibes hit the right frequency, they resonate.

I’ve been particularly impressed by the recent alliance between the IHTA and APSP. The IHTA was launched years ago out of frustration with the Hot Tub Council, furthering the fragmentation and division that has long beset our enterprise. And we had two budgets and two voices and two plans on how to help our retailers sell hot tubs.

Well, those two groups put their differences aside and joined forces for the good of the industry. They clearly realized that any plan executed in concert and good faith with combined resources beats two half-resourced plans, no matter how brilliant, no matter how right.

Maybe there’s something we can take from that.

Scott Webb

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