Oklahoma Standard
Oklahoma City at dusk. (File)

The Oklahoma Standard is not a myth.

It is a dream. A goal for people who believe in this place. Our place. It doesn’t really matter that we live in Oklahoma. You can replace it with any location, and it is still a goal for dreamers and believers.

Don’t mistake me for a starry-eyed idiot. I am full of sarcasm and plenty of anger, but I also have hope, and that hope persists for all that the Oklahoma Standard means to me. As a result, I felt inspired to respond to Jack Fowler’s NonDoc commentary that has been making waves on the internet.

Rather than ask Jack to leave Oklahoma, I want to make sure he stays and makes it better. Jack, I hope you use your voice and passion to fight injustice. I want people like you here — to make a difference in ways I cannot.


Oklahoma Standard ‘a myth’ by Jack Fowler

But to me, the Oklahoma Standard is a dream and a goal. It represents perspective. When it storms, there is often a direction where the sky is a magnificent blue. I often miss it because I’m scared of what the outbreaks overhead will bring. Yet, I’m trying to teach myself, my son and my family to chase that blue sky instead of cowering under the gray.

That doesn’t mean we have to be ignorant of the trouble coming or the difficulty that comes with pushing through the storms, but we also don’t have to live in despair. Yes, we have many problems in Oklahoma. I am sad and angry at the lack of funding for our schools. I am sickened by the intolerance for other races, religions and lifestyles. And my heart breaks every time I think of how many still lack basic necessities.

But that’s not all I see.

Here and everywhere I’ve lived, there are GOOD people. So what if these types want to see the positive so badly that they create a slogan and a campaign? Hell, make it a bumper sticker and a coffee mug, too. I’ll take one of each. Because, in the end, I want to share their perspective. I want to see the direction they are looking, where Oklahoma City and the state at large is better and brighter.

I don’t say this in arrogance, because I know I can do more — we all can — but I don’t want to deflate the people of Oklahoma for their efforts, because I think most of the disagreement with Jack’s article stems from how it could be seen as denigrating the efforts of those trying very hard to help others.

The idea of the Oklahoma Standard may usually be captured in contrived press releases or times when cameras are on and the news footage rolls at 6 o’clock, but, if you look close, you can witness it daily.

Humanity, though greatly flawed, is often the most beautiful in the smallest moments, when no one is there to see it.

When the sky is blue.

I hope to see you there.