Friday, May 9, 2014

My Plea Today

So, Breathitt Co. has been on the news almost every day this week.  Seems like we are always getting a bad rap. Regardless of how you feel about it, Eastern Kentucky and Breathitt County do have plenty of problems to choose from... and we can all get mad if we want to when these problems are brought to light.  There's always the complaint that national media (and even media from other parts of the state) always focus on the bad... but isn't that kind of how we all are?  Don't we always look at the bad in the situation?

Social media has only heightened this problem.  Opinions are shared without all of the facts (case in point... this blog, if you are reading it).  Before you know it, news has spread like wildfire and it is often the incomplete story.  We share news stories and negativity because we love sensationalism.  I'm just as guilty as the next person.

However, what good does it do?  Don't we want the best for future generations?  The past year celebrated the anniversary of the War on Poverty, and frankly, Eastern Kentucky really isn't any better off than we were.  Unemployment rates are high.  Our substance abuse statistics are some of the highest in the nation.  In county health rankings, we are some of the unhealthiest people in our state, and we are plagued with discontent and entitlement. I could go on and on about the negativity, about the reasons why Breathitt Co. is such a bad place to live, but that is my point.

I choose to live here.  I love it here.  And I think it is time that we stop fighting each other, stop pointing fingers, stop sharing the negativity.  It may mean embracing change.  It may mean that what has worked in the past isn't working now.  We're living in a new time.  People are different.  Society is different. Expectations are different. 

And maybe it is time to focus on the good.  There are several reasons why I love Breathitt Co. I love going to get my nails done and having someone ask me how my family is... and know that they really care.  Not only do they know their names, they know personal details about them.  I love knowing that if I run out of money at a gas station, there is probably someone who will be kind enough to pick up the extra, because they know me.  I love how if I were to break down on my way home, more than likely, I could go to a person's house and ask for assistance and they'd still offer me help.  I love knowing that when I sit in a gym, and Caleb is sitting with someone else, he'll be treated like their own kid.

So what I'd like to propose is this.  Could we please stop the bashing?  The hatred?  Can we just admit that while we all have different opinions, for the most part, we want the best for our kids?  And sometimes the best for our kids means admitting there are consequences for actions made.  What kind of example are we setting when every time we open our mouth, we're complaining?  Is it possible to maybe give change a chance, recognizing that obviously, something hasn't been working?

No, this isn't a political ad, because frankly, I'm sick of the politics in our community.  And no, this isn't pointed at one person, because I think we are all guilty. 

I just think that looking to the future means moving forward, and sometimes that is painful.

But staying stagnant is even more so. 

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