by Visit Ventura
Every New Year we take measure. This is a good thing. It sees us slow down, think things through, see beyond the daily blur that sometimes constitutes our days. The underlying question is both simple and grand. What do we want to do with the time we have?
This is an important question for a simple reason. The time we have is limited.
If we are very lucky, we have choices regarding how we spend the time we have. And where. If you are reading this from your home, and your home is touched by the sea, then it may be that you are so very lucky to call Ventura home. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Ventura, well, that is lucky enough.
Our town is something very special. This is not a sales pitch. It’s just the truth. We have improbable amounts of sun and warmth, and pretty rolling hills, and a glittering sea that doesn’t serve as a backdrop at all; it’s a world-class playground, and we should all play as much as possible. Right. Because the time we have is limited.
But Ventura is not just about meteorology and geography. If you are lucky enough to live here, you know this. If you are visiting, you will discover this in short order. The smiles you see are genuine, the kind that aren’t just a stretch of the face, but rise up from some deep, warm place. The kindnesses bestowed — an elaborate set of directions, a Samaritan who walks you to the restaurant and then comes in to introduce you to the owner — those kindnesses come from the same deep, warm place. The easy acceptance? You be You has been adopted as a slogan by our Visitors Bureau, but slogans, without the truth behind them, are pointless. Let’s be honest. It can be a divisive world. Not everyone is helpful, pleasant and accepting. Not even in Ventura.
But it is also true to say that, in Ventura, acceptance triumphs over the narrow-minded, and pleasantness smothers discord.
This is a very special place. Venturans walk through their days carrying this knowledge in their heads and their hearts. It hangs in the sunshine, almost as real as the salt-laden air. Venturans care. Again, not all — but most. We have seen this caring in good times, and, more telling, in bad. Ours is a town that looks out for each other. Sometimes fiercely. There is also strength in the warmth deep down inside.
Not long ago our Visit Ventura team attended the Ventura Chamber’s annual Poinsettia Awards. Every town (hopefully) has similar awards. The Poinsettia Awards are given to the givers, the people who work to make the world better. One by one, the award winners came to the stage. It was their moment in the sun. Without exception, each stood at the podium and spoke of others. Teachers who changed their lives. Mentors who provided help and example. Parents who gave everything.
The message was clear.
See the gifts we’ve been given. Then give them to others.
What to do with the time we have? The decision is yours.
And that in itself is a very lucky place to be.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Visit Ventura…