It’s cliché but today’s young people really are the future. Take a long hard look at today’s youth and you will quickly see what Chickasaw County, Mississippi and this country will look like in 10 or 15 years.
It’s easy to get all riled up over kids that wear their pants too low or have stainless steel studs in their eyebrows, ears and other places.
In the news business we get chided because we “only report the bad things” people do. To a certain extent that statement is true.
It’s true because good people are supposed to do good things and not look for the publicity and recognition that get your name in the paper.
And as for the bad things that kids do that make it on the front page of the paper. Well, I hope it will hopefully keep some kid from making the same mistake.
Let me be the first to say we have a lot of good young people in Chickasaw County. If we can find ways to keep them around, we have a bright future ahead of us.
I got to travel to Tupelo with a bunch of youth Thursday to attend Winter Jam.
Winter Jam was started by NewSong more than 18 years ago and Chickasaw County native Jack Pumphrey is the drummer for that band. It is now the largest winter concert tour in the world.
In my younger days I went to a number of concerts and some of them were events I really wouldn’t want my kids to attend.
Let me point out NewSong is a contemporary Christian group and every artist that took the stage that night had a message all of us – young and old — need to embrace. We didn’t have those kind of events around here when I was a youth.
As I watched thousands of young people lift their hands and sing praise to Jesus, I wondered what our community would be like if there had been events like that when I was growing up.
As the father of four boys I firmly believe kids will make good choices if they have that option.
We need to continue to offer our kids options.
The Ingram boys loaded up the GMC and headed to Bankhead National Forest in Alabama to camp this past weekend.
This is not camper camping where you pull onto a concrete pad with electricity and a faucet appropriately positioned at your campsite.
No, this was put all your gear in a backpack, strap it on and walk about two hours into a wilderness area for an evening under the stars.
I started backpacking in high school and have hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, Zion National Park, California’s John Muir Trail and even spent a week on the slopes of Mount McKinley in Alaska.
Learning what kind of baggage you really want to carry around in this world is important. I am always amazed at how much we can do without.
But I am not 18 years old anymore and this trip took a lot out of me. One of my boys even said, “Dad, please don’t have a heart attack,” as he watched me sweat and gasp for breath on one particularly steep part of the trail.
And the best part of the trip was when my eldest offered to take part of my gear and carry it out.
Glance around Chickasaw County, we need to find and train young people who can carry our load when we get a little tired and winded.
Time marches on
Time stops for no one and we are all a day older than we were yesterday.
Please look around your community and start finding ways to get involved with young people.
The Houston Community Theater presents “The Sound of Music” next week. It will be driven to a large extent by young people – and adults who have a heart for our youth.
The Boy Scouts of America will have a crawfish dinner soon and the Girl Scouts of America will be offering cookies for sale at various businesses. Please remember that deep pockets solve lots of problems.
Football spring training starts in a few days and summer baseball and softball are just around the corner. Young people learn a lot about life playing sports.
Did you know high school graduation is just nine weeks away?
Young people really are the future.
If we can look and find ways to invest more in the lives of our young people, Chickasaw County’s future really will be bigger, better and brighter.
Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be contacted at 456-3771 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.