This week I returned to the place where I grew up to attend a funeral for a long time member of that community. It was held in a beautiful church and it gradually filled up with many of the people whom I had known growing up and that had played some part in my life. The coach, the teacher, the Sheriff, old classmates, the attorney, the real estate agents, the insurance agent..all there bound by the same loyalty and desire to show respect and gratitude for the deceased man and to support his family.
The music was beautiful and the words spoken heartfelt. I felt like I was home…I felt like these were “my people”…I felt like I was one of them. For a moment the many years of living far away, the layers and layers of new friends I had developed over the decades, my different church affiliation with all of its different culture all ebbed away and I was simply a young boy belonging to his townspeople…I was with “my people”.
The service ended and I left without hanging around to renew all of my old acquaintances. It would have taken too long. My real-time person soon emerged and I became once again who I have become and am satisfied being. However, I treasured the life of my youth and I love the people who were a part of it.
For a moment I understood better why a person would return to their roots and want to get a tribal tattoo or something to honor their people. I was part of that small town and the power of the community transcended my present life. It meant something to me. Home towns and communities all over are investing in their youth and helping them reach their potential. This work braids us together. Our communities helped us believe in the possibility of great things to come. I believe that the basic building block of a strong community is a strong family but the sum total of the community’s strengths and weaknesses also impact us. It is our heritage and it reaches our core. We sometimes forget it but it is still there under the surface providing support like deeply buried pilings under a tall building that are never seen.
HighFive Your Life Principle: Love your home town. Consider it one the arrows in your quiver of self worth. Your heritage gives you support even if just to remind you of the dreams and aspirations you had as youth.
What do you remember about your home town that lifts your soul?