The words, "It takes a village" were mentioned by Beri Fox in her interview in last week's Tyler Star News, and will be the topic of her speech at Sister's Fest this coming weekend. These words are bandied around quite a bit - but what, exactly, does the saying mean?
In our community, it means working together, and supporting each other. It means encouraging new businesses, accepting new ideas, and welcoming new faces into our small, close-knit enclave.
It means cheering on students who put their best efforts into sports. It means applauding their commitment to the betterment of our neighborhoods, as seen by the formation of Teen Court and the participation in the National Youth Leadership Initiative. It means keeping tradition alive, as students compete in Charleston at the Ham and Bacon Show.
Someone once said, "There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings."
As technology brings the world into our living rooms and schoolrooms, our village has expanded to global proportions. We cannot ignore the outside influences of war, drugs, and disaster. We are part of the family of man. It is our job, in our small community, to prepare our children for life in this global village. We must educate the upcoming generation, not just in scholarly applications, but also in compassion, responsibility and activism. Our youth are our future, and must be prepared to step onto the world stage armed with the best tools we can provide them.
Tyler County is fortunate to have the resources and the ability to make a difference, not just in this little village, but in the community of mankind. In these uncertain times, our commitment to better understanding in our corner of the world takes on a much larger meaning. Progress depends on the choices we make today. It takes parents, educators, clergy, business people and community leaders working for common goals.
Today, just for a moment, stop and consider how fortunate Tyler Countians truly are to live in a "village" that shares its hopes and dreams and works toward common goals. This community embodies a true kindred spirit of aspiration to be the kind of village that sets a high premium on progress and achievement. All should be grateful to live in such a village - one that inspires each of us to be better, do better and to better the lives of others, at home and in the world community.