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Shapiro: My 10 reasons not to worry and be optimistic here in the Valley of the Sun

By Gary Shapiro | Free Press Point of View

You can’t help but notice the noise from the pessimists about almost any topic under their falling skies. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I worry that the yellers and screamers believe their opinions and prognostications will or should prevail as a result of their excessive and unnecessary volume.

There is a predictable self-prophesy of doom depending on whether you buy into a pessimistic viewpoint or maintain a healthy optimistic vantage point.

Photo of Gary Shapiro
Gary Shapiro

Some people are talking about the R-word referring to the likelihood of a recession. Historical experts with 20-20 hindsight vision have gone on the record that federal regulators don’t necessarily handle things well.

If their goal is to slightly let some of the air out of inflationary trends, it’s important their actions don’t trigger something worse or unintended.

As an optimist and a seasoned veteran of five decades of local experience as a REALTOR, I wanted to share my Top 10 list of why we’re fortunate to be living here and now.

Number 10: Most clients I have encountered over the past 51 years have waited until they have retired to move here. They come here in the twilight of their lives. You and I are already here enjoying Arizona.

Number 9: Metropolitan Phoenix and Scottsdale continues to be in the Top Five preferred destinations for people to live. There are thousands of cities across America that make a different list of places where people hope to leave.

Number 8: We’re not plagued with natural disasters such as mudslides, flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes. Despite our seasonal high temperatures, we’re regarded as one of the most livable places in America.

Number 7: We’re relatively economical. Property taxes are low compared to many other areas across the country. Most of my clients are pleasantly surprised when I tell them what their taxes will be. Also, housing and other expenses are better here than in many other locales.

Number 6: Scottsdale public schools are outstanding and favorably compete with top-notch schools anywhere else.

Number 5: Our post-secondary education system of trade schools, community colleges and universities are world-class. Our children have bright futures.

Number 4: People are genuinely friendly and welcoming. Our traditions of western hospitality form our community’s foundation.

Number 3: Our business and governmental leaders share a common belief in transparency and servant leadership. The disruptors and barn burners are still a minority. There are lots of people focused on and devoting energies and resources to the needs of people in our communities.

Number 2: Arizona is and will remain economically viable. If you want to work, jobs exist. We’re also the home to many successful start-ups and incubators.

Number 1: We wake up to blue skies and palm trees waving in the breeze. That’s a stark contrast to the gray skies, rain and snow that many of us came from.

If you still need another reason to remain or become an optimist, you’ll actually live longer than your pessimistic friends. In a comprehensive and disciplined medical survey lasting three decades, optimists lived 15 percent longer than pessimists.

There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t thank my lucky stars for the ability to move here 55 years ago.

Editor’s note: Mr. Shapiro is a Scottsdale Charro, Realtor and co-founder of Scottsdale Leadership.

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