Samantha Romanick is embracing Barrie with her heart and soul. A newcomer who has chosen Barrie with her husband and two kids, Samantha is in one of Barrie's many new neighbourhoods. And I'd be willing to bet she's the glue that holds it together, and the bright light that makes it shine.

As we were packing up our booths from one of Mr. Bob's Really Great, Really Free trade shows Thursday night, we were both expressing enthusiasm for the fabulous Suiteworks building which had played host to the two-hour affair. We applauded the real vision in the construction of these off site and hotelling work suites.

It was the end of a perfect day; the sky was still crisp blue and the evening had been filled with positive people speaking positive things about their business enthusiasms. And Samantha couldn't contain herself any longer.

She is seeing Barrie with the eye of someone new and she's seeing it and us, its residents, for all our positive amenities. Since she moved here, every good fortune has befallen her.

Well, it's no wonder! This young woman greets the entire world with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. I'm not kidding! She's one of thousands of people who are choosing to move to Barrie and call it home. In fact, last Friday morning I had a walk n talk business meeting, instead of perching at a table at a coffee shop. We talked business issues and goals as we walked along the rail path next to the water in downtown Barrie. Another newcomer business owner, Sheila Mahoney, was absolutely charmed with what her new home had to offer.

In fact, so many of the people I work with in my business development endeavours are virtual poster people for Barrie. We should really put them all on a talking billboard! (has that been invented yet?) They see generosity, enthusiasm, old-fashioned neighbourly kindness, and the willingness to go out on a limb and do business by a handshake.

As I watch Samantha and Sheila and Trish and her husband Dwayne who have just started their own business, I wonder about how goodness comes and goes. Does it turn into energy, leaving the soul of the person who nurtures it? Does it travel like the smell of home made pie... down the street, and in an open window and smack dab into the heart of someone else? Or does it just sit there, waiting for someone to come along and pick it up.

I believe it floats around and enters other people, if they're open to positive energy. I believe that's what the power of positive energy is all about. And I believe that when people like Samantha and Sheila expect goodness, see goodness, feel goodness and put out goodness, that's what just naturally bounces back to them.

I guess it's the old adage, "what you see is what you get!" But this is a whole new spin on it.

Seeing our community through the eyes of someone who's a negative, jaded individual with a hopeless outlook on life is one interpretation.

It's not the one I'm interested in, though. And it's sure not what a lot of new residents are putting out.

Former Mayor Les Cooke coined the phrase... Barrie, Ontario's most progressive city... some 35 years ago. Well, a generation later we can add to what Les saw...

Welcome to Barrie, Ontario's most progressive city, where seeing the best produces the best!

Thanks, Sam. Thanks, Sheila. And thanks, Bob, for offering consistent opportunities for people to share their dreams.

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