I want to talk about something that has nothing to do with photography or even Yen Studios for that matter. I want to talk about Memphis. My home.

I heard this speech yesterday from the Memphis Chamber President, Phil Trenary, talk about needing to “sell Memphis” to people. Easy – just sell the positive attributes of Memphis! But how can you sell Memphis when Memphians don’t even recognize what those are?? We all hear about the crime, weird weather, poverty, etc. Do people even talk about the good things?

All of these are questions roaming through my head, and luckily, they gave us a flyer of 15 great things to know about Memphis. I was surprised. I didn’t know that many, which is embarrassing because ya know – I’ve lived here my whole life and am a relatively active citizen in Memphis. Sad. πŸ™ And then the same day, my sister, Morgan, posts this on Facebook…and I got an idea.

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She continues to be a great source of inspiration for me, and I thought this idea was absolutely brilliant. Just a little background info on her. She and her husband lived in Memphis and then moved to Nashville because they wanted a change! After a couple of years, they decided to make the move back to the 901. Why?? Isn’t Nashville supposed the be the greatest city on earth since sliced bread? Yeah, let that sink in. (Slow nod.) Well, here’s a few reasons they moved back: Straight up, they missed it; it’s home for them. And it took leaving to realize that. The food is A-MAZING! Living is cheaper out here. (You roll your eyes, but Memphis is cheap according to thisΒ linkΒ and so many more! Just Google it, and you’ll see just how many lists Memphis makes.) And I’m sure they have more reasons for moving back, but I don’t want to put words in her mouth.

She posted this on Facebook because it was something she was thinking and wanted to make a point about Memphians’ behavior. I’M posting about this today because I am asking YOU TO MAKE A STAND. Be a #bettermemphian. Make a better Memphis. Create a list for yourself, hold yourself accountable for what you are recommending, and help make our city a better place. Toxic attitudes can go to a different city or just evaporate (I’m ok with that). We don’t need them here. We need people to talk about the GOOD in Memphis. The #lovemobs, free concert series, and pop-up breweries – things that make Memphis unique! Memphis has its problems. I think we are all aware of that. But nothing will be fixed if we only focus on why people would hate it. And let me preface this by saying…if you DON’T have anything nice to say about my post then keep steppin’. Don’t need your negativity here today.

I propose we make a list of 5 things we can realistically do to be #bettermemphians! (using the hashtag is a must. lol) Share said list on every social media you have access to, and when you see people face to face – bring this up. Re-use what people have said before if you agree with it or make new rules and live by them. Help me help Memphis!

Here’s my list to becoming a better Memphian:

1. No public bashing of Memphis. The last thing we need as a city is to have everyone publicly hating all over it. I’ve done it, but I’m going to change. What about you?

2. When people are hating all over Memphis, say 1 nice thing about our city. For me, this will be easy because I honestly do believe Memphis has the best water in the country! Hazah, I now and forever will have a rebuttal to public Memphis bashing. Don’t like this amazingly refreshing water (huh?), here is a list of other great things Memphis has to offer.

3. Give. Give what? Money! To who?? Memphis organizations you believe in!! Don’t have money? Give your time, some effort, or maybe even skills. Don’t have time, effort or skills to give? Well, first of all – that’s sad. Second of all – something as simple as “Liking” them on Facebook can help. There is something that you can do to show your support for whatever, so don’t play that game with me.

4. Cheer on/support a school in Memphis! I went to the U of M! I am a PROUD alumna. I met my husband there, and we have participated in events both during and after our graduation. The U of M is what you make of it, and if that isn’t your bag, baby, then what about an elementary or high school? Or a trade school? Education is important…at any level! Cheer them on. Answer their surveys, attend their functions, and read their newsletters. Be active.

5. Β Stay up to date. Keep up with the news and see what’s going on in your city. Be informed. Here are two good sources to stay up to date with Memphis trends: ilovememphis and choose901. You wouldn’t want to miss out! Because when things happen in Memphis, it’s a sight to see! I went to the Lucero concert at the Levitt Shell. Good thing I follow them on twitter and subscribe to their email list πŸ˜‰ because I would have missed it!! It was awesome! And free! And so much of Memphis was huddled on the lawn at the Shell, dancing to local music! I couldn’t believe the support…to see that Memphians care! And that feeling of being a part of a community, like we are all in this together…THAT is what we can sell when we “sell Memphis.”

Lucero Concert at the Levitt Shell

Lucero Concert at the Levitt Shell

Peace out! *Drop microphone*