Excuse me while I get negative about being negative

It’s closing in on the end of January so maybe it’s a little late to start talking New Year’s resolutions.

But I’m willing to bet more than a few of you have failed at yours already.

If you’re still managing to hold tight, good for you.

Regardless of your resolution’s success or failure, here’s something else you need to take on: be more positive this year.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the local paintball community (the industry I work in, for those who missed my column last year) about what we as players, refs, managers and owners can do to ensure that new players have a good experience when they come play the game for the first time, or first few times.

After all, if there are no new players, there is no growth in the industry. It behooves us all to be ambassadors of the sport day-in and day-out.

The issue at hand is how we deal with the negative aspects of the community. If you’ve got a hyped-up teen with a super-expensive paintball gun running around blowing 11-year-olds away with extreme prejudice, you’ve got a problem.

I think all you non-paintballer/readers can imagine that getting shot six times from a foot away doesn’t equal a positive experience.

Now, let’s apply this same logic to local politics.

There’s folks I know that are out there doing good, day-in and day-out. But when it comes to the local political climate it’s often times poisonous. Why?

You’ve got your uber-predictable cadre of letter-writers who bash the CVRD relentlessly; these people are always right, and you are always wrong.

Then there’s the sign-destroyers — those who chopped down a display at the proposed Eco Depot site, and those pro-SIA folks who damaged and defaced signs protesting the deposition of contaminated soil within the Shawnigan watershed.

And there’s the very animated, loud, lady in the coffee shop talking SIA. We understand. There’s no need to raise your voice and self-aggrandize your crazy actions.

There are more types than I have column inches to describe.

Don’t even get me started on the fear-mongering unsubstantiated-fact-staters.

What I don’t understand is why there’s a difference between my paintball community, and my local community.

We’ve each identified problems that need to be addressed. But whereas the ballers are willing to have civil, productive, and open discussions, I see local extremism and knee-jerk reactions all the time.

For those of you who would now argue, “That’s the small minority, not everyone,” I agree.

It is in paintball too, but it’s also equally as damaging to the community.

Please don’t think for a second I’m not aware of the irony of me being negative about people being negative and not positive.

But can you imagine what would happen if all the haters started coming up with realistic, fact-based, plans that were free of influence — monetary or otherwise — to fix what they feel is wrong?

Maybe we could open a dialogue.

Or are we just going to go through another year with people talking loud and doing nothing (positive)?

Jay Siska writes monthly in the News Leader Pictorial. Reach him at jaysiska@hotmail.com.

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