As I prepared to fill in for Helen as she recuperates
from knee surgery in North Carolina,
I was honored that I was doing so with our nation’s birthday so
close at hand. Two famous quotes kept running through my mind and I
simply could not decide which one to focus on. Then, I realized they
really go hand in hand:
“Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what
you can do for your country.”
--John F. Kennedy
Both of these men were great leaders of people and
nations at times of crisis and change. They both rose to challenges
presented to them and helped forge new ways of thinking, not only in
their home countries and the world, but in small communities throughout
the world. Their words and the changes made by their work still touch
So, what can we do today to effect change in our world
and do for our country? I don’t know about you, but that question
sometimes seems truly overwhelming, and I seem so small when looking at
all the problems facing us today. Then, I look at those right here in
this community that are already setting examples and effecting change.
On Saturday, several Relay for Life teams will gather at
Wayne Underwood Field and work and walk to help find a cure for cancer.
These people are our neighbors, who decided to take some of their time
and do something to effect change.
Around the county, we have CEOS clubs, whose members
volunteer to do a variety of things--from Adopt-A-Highway to collecting
magazines for hospitalized veterans, to giving to the local food pantry,
to working with the local recycling center. Once again, our neighbors
working for the good of our community, thus our country.
Our middle school and high school have athletic booster
organizations that are operated completely by volunteers, and not all
are parents of the children who benefit from their work. They run
concessions at games, have basket bingos, and cater events to raise
money so student athletes can have what they need to safely participate
in the athletics they choose. These neighbors are effecting changes for
generations to come.
Calhoun Historical Society works to protect our rich
history. The Legacy Team works on developing a wellness center for the
county. West Fork Community Action works to provide a positive place for
the community to meet and grow. There are other groups made up of all
volunteers that work regularly to make Calhoun a better place to live.
Although we hurt for those in third world countries, who
do not have enough food to eat on a daily basis, and we feel deeply for
our Gulf Coast countrymen, who are suffering from the recent oil spill,
we may not have the means with which to help them.
We do, however, have the time and energy, or even a
little means, to help with local projects that could benefit us, our
neighbors, and our local community. The opportunities are here, right
here in Calhoun County.
We love where we live. Just ask us. So, let me
paraphrase these two great men if I might:
“Be the change you wish to see in Calhoun County. Ask
not what Calhoun County can do for you, but what you can do for Calhoun