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Can being more optimistic help Rhode Island thrive?

Providence ranks in bottom 5 of metropolitan areas in optimism survey

In a recent survey conducted by the Gallup organization, Providence ranked 3rd worst metropolitan area in terms of city optimism. According to the poll, only 43.7% of area residents feel their community is getting better as a place to live:

The national polling group also said what works in some of the best performing cities could provide an example for other regions to follow. It said leaders in more optimistic areas could “channel that positive energy into a community’s economic and social infrastructure, in turn, creating the types of good jobs that help cities thrive.”

“Alternately, communities in which residents lack optimism risk losing the very talent and energy they need to rise again,” Gallup said.

Gallup’s interviews were conducted throughout 2011. The poll’s margin of error varied according to the size of the metro area, from less than 1 percentage point for larger cities to plus-or-minus 6.5 percentage points for smaller ones.

Certainly bad news is not something we lack here in Rhode Island, however, anecdotal evidence suggests the people who come here from elsewhere have a much more positive outlook on Providence and the region (obviously, they probably wouldn’t come here if they thought it was a terrible place).

So how can we embrace our newcomers’ optimism and make it rub off on the natives rather than the other way around?

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