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From the Center 3-29-17

There was a packed house at the Chamber Partnership Banquet last Tuesday night held at the Rosenwald.

We had a fantastic meal served by Williams’ Catering and enjoyed the singing talent of two young, local girls.

I had the pleasure of being seated with Howard and Edna White.

I heard a wonderful history lesson from the Whites about Prentiss Institute and J.E. Johnson High School. I could have stayed there for hours asking questions. I never knew high school students attended classes at the institute.

The guest speaker at the banquet was Dr. Mark Miller from USM.

I think those of us that live here become desensitized to our surroundings.

We sink into a habitual routine of criticizing, not noticing the beauty around us.

The topic Dr. Miller spoke on was wealth and all the different facets of it. He began by discussing human wealth and referenced our hometown talent at the beginning of the event. Human wealth. Do we ever attribute ourselves as being wealthy because of the talent among us? I know I have never thought of it that way.

“Another aspect of wealth, when we think about the many dimensions of wealth, is sometimes called natural capital. I could not help but be stunned by that when I was driving up here on  this beautiful day from Hattiesburg. What a gorgeous community you live in!”

How long has it been since you heard someone say that?

Maybe visitors do see the beauty in our county as they drive in to visit. Miller noted that our highways into town aren’t cluttered with billboards allowing the natural beauty to be seen.

That was a very refreshing view from an outsider, especially at a time so close to our big Run weekend. We will have so many visitors from around our state driving into town. It is nice to know they might see the beauty too and want to make a return visit.

Let’s talk positively of our county and try to get out from under the weight of the constant negativity. You never know who will be listening.

Star Student and Star Teacher awards were presented at the conclusion of the banquet.

This year marked the first time in 17 years all three schools had a Star Student. This was very special, since it will also be the last.

I hope we will press forward with the education of our children being the forefront of the movement driving the consolidation.