D. Gary Davis
For Tuesday 01/03/2017
Happy New Year. I hope that you are succeeding in keeping your New Year’s resolutions and that they soon become a habit and then become "second nature” and therefore part of your everyday routine. It is at this time of year that many of us stop to not only reflect back, but to also look forward to the future. A successful planning process involves many items, but one of the greatest is the understanding and internalization of the concept of HOPE.
I find many different types of music enjoyable, but few can seemingly correlate every day, and everybody’s, emotions as well as the lyrics of Country music. A few that have tried to encapsulate the brevity of our time on this earth are Kenny Chesney’s song "Don’t Blink” and Alan Jackson’s "Remember When”. You tube is a great place to visit if you would like to hear these artist’s exclaim "Don’t blink, life goes faster than you think” & "30 seemed so old, now it’s just a stepping stone” respectively. You may even notice a tear, or two, if you start relating to either of these songs. They seem to be using contemporary terms and language to explain another Biblical truth that is found in James 4:14 that states "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” The loss of loved ones, relatives, friends and even celebrities, that we do not even know personally, help to teach us that none of us are guaranteed the next breath, much less the next year.
So, what are we supposed to do with our brief time, on this celestial globe? I think that we are to be thankful for each gift received, understand that we are not here for ourselves only, but to help each other along the way. And to help others understand the gift of HOPE that is available to each of us. In doing so we find not only a purpose to our daily lives but also a reason as well as a goal to achieve, each and every day.
As I have said many times before in this column, the efforts of our ancestors that many of us never got the opportunity to know personally, have given the gift of our present day community for us to enjoy. But we are not to only enjoy this gift, but we are to continue working together, to achieve even more for our descendants, that we may never meet either.
This past month, Bradley County’s unemployment rate has now dropped below 4 %. Let that "set in” for a minute. This now means that 96% of all of our available work force, that wants to work, now has an opportunity to have a job. This will continue to bring not only income, to families, but also the ability for those who seek to provide a better life, to not only dream of, but to now achieve this goal.
Exceptional natural resources, abundant supplies of regional growth, multiple educational facilities, developing recreational facilities combined with numerous methods of contributing all work together to ensure success for those who are blessed to call Bradley County and this region their home. "Educated people, with good jobs living in a great place” has become the regional vision expression of choice for Thrive 2055 and Southeast Tennessee, working to build upon our current successes to implement long term prosperity for our region.
Success, by itself, is a lonely achievement. But when combined with the knowledge of provision for family, a greater good for our community and the lasting achievements for eternity it can and does supply not only individual hope, but increases the opportunity for us ALL.
Thank you for the opportunity to continue to represent you as your County Mayor. It is my continued goal to work with others to build upon our recent successes to Protect, Preserve and Provide for our current and also our future generations. This ability to help provide the framework for future growth, is yet another reason for hope, and for Bradley County to continue to be Tennessee at its BEST!