Mardi Gras is over and the city of New Orleans and the people of New Orleans should be proud.
The buzz about this city has been at a fever pitch for several weeks now. First, New Orleans hosted a Super Bowl that will always be remembered as one of the best ever – not only the game, but also the flawless chorography of staging a compelling event on a national and international stage. As the curtain went down on the Super Bowl and the standing ovation for the city continued, New Orleans and its cast of citizens again took the stage and put on another award-winning Mardi Gras performance.
Yes, we should be proud of our city and ourselves, but we should learn from our back-to-back performances. We should be the city we have been for the past few weeks all the time and the commitment to excellence dedicated to welcoming and entertaining our visitors should transcend the hospitality industry and become part of the attitude of everyone year around.
It has been learned that when athletes study video of their excellent performances, they learn to recreate the physical and mental feelings they had during that moment of excellence. We can do that as a city. Let’s not look back on what a wonderful job we did at hosting the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras in early 2013 and think our work is finished. Let’s study the feelings we had during this extraordinary time and work to repeat these peak performances on a daily basis throughout the city.
As a native of New Orleans I have often criticized the attitude of “that’s the way we do it in New Orleans, and everybody loves New Orleans, so it must be right.” When any performer excels at their craft they should not relax and think their work is done. Peak performers build on their best performances and that’s what we must do in New Orleans.
Rather than look back with satisfaction for a job well-done, let’s look back at what we did right and try to use our ability and talent in every aspect of our lives – even when it’s not a party. There is no doubt that we know who we can be – the question is will we commit to performing at a peak level all the time?
P.S. - This is the beginning of Lent – a time of sacrifice leading to Easter. In the news today there are reports that we will have a good crawfish season during Lent. Don’t you find something wrong with that? During Lent there is a tradition of not eating meat on Fridays. So in this part of the country we make the ultimate sacrifice by eating seafood – our seafood!
What sacrifice? Is it fair to say you are making a sacrifice by not eating meat on Fridays during Lent and having fresh, hot boiled crawfish or a big seafood platter in lieu of meat? Every Friday during Lent every seafood restaurant in Louisiana will be filled with those who are making a sacrifice by eating our delicious seafood and not eating meat. If instead of eating meat we were all dining on bland fish sticks, that would be a sacrifice, but the joy of indulging on our seafood hardly qualifies as a sacrifice!
Hey, I’m not lecturing you – I am also reminding myself of this seasonal phenomenon. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying our fresh, wonderful seafood during Lent – but be honest enough to realize that it’s really not much of a sacrifice!