I am a young resident of EC for 12 year now, and I know that graduation is coming up. I was often advised and almost expected by most teachers, long time residents & friends to leave Edmonson soon after graduation if I ever 'wanted to get anywhere in life'. I've heard our town described as a black hole. Unitedly my mindset towards this town was easily convinced by it's blasted negativities, and very often witnessing ill-fated relations, blithely or glibly. Yet, this town has such an innocently pure, good natured aspect. Unfortunately it isn't the main focal point as it should be.
I've became trustworthy of this town. My name is not familiar! Through little to-no connections, I still know so many. I feel Brownsville, in a sense will always be a safe town & my home. I am surrounded by good hearted people.Our local store employees are always someones family or a long lost friend. I often pass fellow drivers that wave customarily, or honk caringly but wouldn't know me from Adam other than us parking beside each other at the local store.
Nonetheless, I've been lucky to have spent time traveling to the majority of our large country & others. It is amazing how people 2,300 miles away can mimic certain acts or be like-minded to Brownsvillians(?) While traveling I would be reminded of my home town. Even with completely different cultures, races, laws, traditions, and family ties. Everyone, no matter where, always wants a better life. It seems a common assumption that anywhere else is more significant and appealing/ diverse than this small country bumpkin town. Yet in actuality in this country - we all have the same grass, just a different lawn. However it all grows the same.
As a soon to be adult I was convinced if I stayed - I wouldn't make anything of myself. I wouldn't help the world- this town is too small for me to matter. But in all actuallity that mindset was simply wrong. I could do all those things I wanted so badly, right here, in this community. I've often wondered what the older aged residents of this county would tell their younger selves if they had the chance to. Would they have stayed?
How can we convince our younger generations to believe that this county isn't as bad as its made out to be? That efforts to beat the odds could snowball into so much more. That it's not a lost cause. There is a plethora of opportunity here just needed of a plan. This town, and world could be much better off by the desire of improvements and change. Kindness, warmth and optimism. An agreement of aspirations for everyone's future.
So my question is Mr Mongoose, if a graduating student or individual trying to make a life changing decision - asked you "Do you think I could help this world and be successful if I stayed in Edmonson County? " What would you say?
Dear Hometown Hero:
I can remember when this county was a vibrant bustling town, then they outlawed rock n roll, the plant shut down and they banned dancing. Ah yes but then a kid from New York moved in, stood up in church and had a prom. No, wait a minute, that was “Footloose”.
Let’s face it, unless you want to be a teacher or a banker--and even banking careers are limited in this county-- there aren’t a lot of career opportunities in EC. At least that’s the way it looks from a distance, but if you dig a little deeper you see there are several successful business owners living and thriving among us. Think for a minute about the businesses you or your family patron on a weekly or monthly basis. With the exception of a very few national chains, I’d say 80% of the businesses in Edmonson County are locally owned and operated by individuals or families. Some of these locally owned businesses aren’t owned by native county folk which should bring you to think of it this way: Someone away from here saw opportunity. Someone who possibly had the same thoughts in high school of moving away from their sleepy hometown to pursue hopes and dreams of being successful and making it in this world. The fact that they were able, as outsiders, to succeed here should give you hope.
Its refreshing to hear someone concerned enough to take time to write in to the #1 opinion column in the county, What is not so refreshing is the advice you were given while in school. Not sure what teachers told you that, but I also went to school here and most of those folks were very Edmonson County-minded.
If I could give you or any school age person one piece of advice it would be this; learn to communicate face to face with people and you will have an advantage over the majority of the world when it comes to being successful. I would NOT tell them, “you don’t stand a chance of making it here, better move on”. The world is your oyster, believe it or not there are pearls in your own backyard, you just have to be willing to dig and look for them.
Thankfully we haven’t reached full on Amazon Prime Time where everything is a click away, delivered by drone with zero personal interaction with other human beings. If you can learn to communicate with real people across a counter, board room ,desk, or the tailgate of a truck, and have interest in something that others have need or want for, you can make it as a small business owner here. Not only will you be able to stay close to home, you’ll have the satisfaction knowing you built something that not just sustains your living but also grants opportunity to other hometown people who may not have aspirations as lofty as yours to work close to home while meeting the needs and wants of your community.
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