One of the questions that I like to ask is, “What brings you to Bradley County?” The answers vary from one person to the next, which makes it interesting to hear all of the different answers. They can vary from a new opportunity in the workforce, or reuniting with family, to loving the region that we get to call home. And while there are many reasons why our new residents have moved here, there seems to be a pervasive, common sentiment that “the people are so nice here!”
This caused me to think back at the Bradley County of my younger days.
Now as an adult, I can see the sacrifices that were made by the leaders and citizens in that era that made it possible for me and those around me to have the opportunities that we all have today. Those men and women took the time to give a tremendous gift to each of us here today. The expectation of delivering a “better life” was not just a catchy slogan, it truly was their desire, and their actions proved it.
The safe schools, the baseball parks such as Fulbright, the community leaders, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the YMCA, the churches’ involvement and benevolence to those in need. And the ability for us all to not only advance our communities, but when disagreements were encountered choose to display character and disagree without becoming disagreeable.
With the arrival of 2014 and 2013 becoming a part of history, I have a thought and a desire. Although we appreciate those who went before us and paved the way to lay the groundwork for our success, have we really said “thank you” enough?
With that in mind, if you have a mentor who has helped you, your family or your friend, please let them know that you appreciate them, TODAY! Considering the amazing gift that we have been given as a community with enormous potential, could we ALL work together to do the same for the next, and all future, generations that are to come?
Will it be easy? The quick answer is “no.” But it will be so worth it to know that we have invested in the next generation. Let us show by example that we can respectfully disagree, while also ensuring that those who come after us have an opportunity for a better year, decade and century to come!
Working together to make Bradley County an even better place for everyone, today and tomorrow! What a goal! It is a desire that is closer and closer to becoming a reality.
It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve such a wonderful community. My family and I wish everyone a happy, safe and prosperous 2014!