The disease of negativism

There is a disease across our country today, which is not only contagious but undermines progress, saps energy and permeates our minds. It can take the most positive ideas and opinions and turn them into something cruel and ugly.
I am, of course, referring to, negativism. It’s everywhere we turn — the TV, the radio and mainstream newspapers and of course, the great social media platforms.
We can blame it on the media or anything else we choose but the buck actually stops with us. It can penetrate our minds without us even realizing it, but we can change how it affects us by being aware of and getting rid of as much negativity in our lives as possible. What we feed our minds tends to come out of our mouths and affect our whole outlook on life. Making changes on what goes in and sometimes changing those we hang out with or listen to, can make a difference. People who are always negative, tend to bring us into that mode of negativity. You just can’t help it if that’s all you listen to day in and day out.
A negative thinking person affects the world around them negatively and negativity produces more negativity if not kept in check.
The way we change the culture is one person at a time deciding they want to change so it has to start with each of us. To make those changes we first have to realize there is a problem; be willing to change and then make those necessary changes.
Society as a whole jumps on the negative and revels in it. I call it an “in-your-face” mentality. It’s what keeps some news channels afloat.
How many times have you been in a problem solving meeting and heard “it can’t be done” or “it won’t work” or “it’s not possible”? With that mindset, it certainly can’t be done.
I always tried to tell my children they could do anything they wanted to do and be anything they chose to do in life. It’s a mindset.
Negative tends to overshadow the positive more times than not. If you want to find out how negative you are, pay attention to what you say every day. Use a recorder if necessary. When you hear an idea or an opinion, before you respond, think about what you are going to say and ask whether it’s positive or negative.
Instead of reacting to the negativity with more negativity, we should respond with positivity. Stop seeing the world as it’s you against it. We can always see the negative if we look for it so stop looking for it and explore the positive. You will feel much better for it.
In last week’s paper, we had a story about the possibility of a conference center in our community in the future. Call it a convention center, events center, civic center, or whatever else you want, it’s still the same thing. A few people wanted to complain that we don’t even have a grocery store and they are talking about a conference center. That is like not seeing the forest for the trees.
We may not have a grocery store at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we won’t in the future. I really don’t understand what one has to do with the other or those people’s thinking on the matter.
It’s a great thing for the community that the county is being given the CGTC building. It means the county will not be figuring out how to come up with money for a new county complex. This saves probably more than two million dollars down the road. Yes, they do need the new offices for county departments. Personally, I don’t understand why there wasn’t planning on having more of them at the courthouse. Yes, I understand it would have cost more money and I wasn’t around during that time, so I can’t really voice an opinion with any teeth in it.
I do know that sometimes forward progress moves slowly but has to start somewhere. At times it may seem progress takes three steps back to one step forward. If we want any change in our communities we have to be part of that change. Otherwise, we are just part of the problem if we are constantly negative about things which are going on around us.
Because we don’t particularly care for the person involved, is not a valid reason to be negative about a project or idea. It shouldn’t matter who gets the credit or whose idea it is if it’s a good idea and will benefit the whole community.
Negativism has to be stopped if we want to see any progress or want to move forward. Not only in our community but in our lives as well. Positivity can combat negativity if we keep working at it. I’m trying to do my part and eliminate as much negativity as possible. Let’s all get on the positivity team and make a difference in our communities.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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E-mail overload

Am I the only one who doesn’t want to click on a video for some information? I do not want to have to watch a video to find out information. I’d rather go to the dentist! When you tell me you are going to give me information, then give it. Don’t make me sit through a video that I will never finish in the first place.
Call me old-fashioned. I just have better things to do than watch a video unless it’s a movie. I’d much rather read it. If I need to stop reading for whatever reason, I can pick back up right where I left off.
The number of pop-up ads for things, even e-mail, has gotten to the maddening point. I do not want to have my reading interrupted by aggravating ads. If I want to check something out to buy, I will do it on my time. Having an advertisement pop up on an email or when reading something, does not entice me to buy whatever the product is at the time.
In fact, it makes me only want to not buy it. I make mental notes about those ads to make sure I never am tempted to buy it.
I also don’t like every store asking for your email or phone number. I receive more than enough emails on an everyday basis and I don’t need anymore, unless you are going to give me an insane amount of rewards or money.
Whenever I try to unsubscribe to some emails, it seems they multiply. I’m not sure how or why I get some of these emails in the first place.
For the record, I don’t do chain emails and unless I am personally involved or need the information for a story, you don’t have to Cc me to keep me in the loop. I think the people who send all these emails should pay me to send them to me. I’m sure that would eliminate quite a few of the unnecessary ones. They are obviously wanting to get my attention, so why not pay me for it. That’s one way for me to pay attention. My time is just as valuable as the next person’s and when I have to spend extra time deleting unwanted emails, I feel I have wasted some time which I can’t get back. I am my own personal assistant and time is valuable.
Perhaps the fee pay system could also be applied to text messages because I get a number of them as well. I’m sure I probably signed up for it, not thinking about it. However, one here and there may be fine but several a week is not. The point is not to make money off emails you don’t want to read, but to get the sender to think more about why they are sending the email and whether or not it is relevant enough to send to me. After all, it’s a form of advertisement and should be paid for by the sender.
I have my spam filter set high and I do not receive notifications from any social media site in my email. Still, I have to sort through 100s a day. One study I read said we are now getting 30% more emails than a few years ago. While I do not open all of them, it still takes time to highlight or check the unwanted ones so they can be deleted.
These days, we can even check our email from our phones which can only take up more precious time for some people. They not only become addicted to social media, they become addicted to checking their email.
I keep praying all this madness will stop. It overloads our brains with too much information. It’s no wonder so many people are having trouble sleeping and seem stressed all the time.
For work, I have to check emails several times a day before deadline to make sure we get everything in that came in on time and needs to go that week. People also send work stuff to my personal email because we have had problems with work email from time to time. I actually have two personal emails and we have three work emails. So part of our time is spent on sifting through emails. Spam filters do help but not enough.
Recently, I had to get another phone because mine died and could not be fixed. I’m still learning the new one, but one feature it has is that if I’m driving and someone sends me a text, it automatically responds letting them know I’m driving and will get back with them later. I think we need something like that on our emails. Perhaps filters could be set up for each person or place we receive emails from and the computer would automatically respond accordingly.
For unsolicited sales emails, the response could be “not interested, never will be interested, so it’s a waste to send me an email. Thank you.”
For other unsolicited emails perhaps the response could be “if I wanted you to send me email, I would have asked you to, so please stop. Thank you.”
We think we want simpler lives but if that is true, we have only made them more complicated with some of today’s technology.
Email is a great communication tool but it can get out of hand if not kept in check. Spam doesn’t filter everything correctly and many get through.
Perhaps all of that will change one day. Until that time I’m just going to unplug for a little while and then get back at it. Blessings. ©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Tax blues

For the second year in a row, I waited until the last minute to do our taxes. It’s a task I detest but usually don’t put off. If we end up having to pay I usually get them done and wait until the last day to mail it off.
Before there were so many changes and things to consider, way past my tax training courses and experience, it didn’t seem so tedious. Never seemed fair to me that if the government owes you money they don’t have to pay you any interest but if you owe them, you have to pay not only interest but penalties as well. Many people like getting big refunds — who doesn’t like extra money — but it’s kind of like using the federal government as a savings account without interest.
In a perfect world each of us would pay in just the right amount within a few bucks here and there. I have high hopes for a tax plan that will not only simplify it but make it more equitable for everyone across the board. When President Trump’s first attempt at health care failed, he said he was moving on to a tax plan. Then he reversed that plan saying healthcare had to come first. He also said he wanted to get the tax plan right.
The last time any reforms were made to the tax code was in 1986. That overhaul, in my opinion did not go far enough. Taxes shouldn’t be so complicated and you shouldn’t have to fill out so many forms. I’ve always been an advocate for a flat rate fair tax. Everyone pays the same.
I am sure the president is finding out, in government, nothing is as easy as it you may think. There are too many hands in the pot, along with egos because everyone wants their way. A major overhaul could also put many IRS employees out of work and that won’t make them very happy.
I support the president but he needs to stay on track and not jump from one thing to another. He said he would repeal Obamacare on day one which was a wild claim as he should have known it would take time. His ultimatum of getting it done or he would move on, didn’t work in Washington.
The president is getting a quick lesson in government not being quite like the business world. If it was, he probably could have pulled off repealing the Affordable Care Act. Because people, once they have them, tend to like government benefits. I’m sure there was lots of flack all around. However, I think if a suitable replacement had been formulated and you could find a way to get inflated egos and turf wars out of the way, it could have gotten done the first time.
Though most Democrats opposed repealing, had a way been found to try and get input from them on a friendly level, instead of adversarial, the way might have not been so thorny. I just don’t see how you make any congressman or woman get over themselves and do what is in the best interest of the people as a whole. They all seem to have forgotten they serve the people. I am a little disappointed in the president’s negotiating skills which I thought was one of his strong points. But then again, Washington is a whole new ballgame in all areas.
Trump has had more opposition in the beginning than any other president. From the press on up. Yes, he can take responsibility for some of that but not all. It’s a sad state of society as a whole. Both parties have lost their way and need revitalization. Perhaps the time has come to only have one party – the people’s — and make it non-partisan. I’m sure that will never happen! And really, that’s probably not the answer.
Trump has powers of persuasion. We witnessed it in his business activities so perhaps he needs to spend a little more time doing so. President Truman once said that he sat in the President’s chair “all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them. That’s all the powers of the President amount to.” He certainly can’t order congressional members to do something. He has to persuade them to his way of thinking. If he wants to succeed he’s got to figure out a way to work with them all, like it or not.
We, the people, can help by staying in contact with our congressional representatives and letting them know what we want from them. While some may not seem to care, enough pressure can change their tune. I know it’s easy to become frustrated and disillusioned but we have to stay the course and let our voices be heard if we want anything to change.
CORRECTION: Sometimes when I write, especially if I get behind, my thoughts tend to run together. Then when it gets proofread and changes get made, two sentences run together and it changes what I meant. When I re-read it, I tend to read as I meant it to be not as it is written. Last week, that happened with my column. Christ’s legs were not broken, the legs of the two thieves were broken to hasten their death. I also had written that as people we are broken and Christ’s cruxification made us whole. I apologize it came out as it did because it was not accurate. I discovered it Friday when reading over the paper after publication. One reader emailed me over the weekend which reminded me to make the correction. Thanks to everyone who reads and keeps us straight. We do appreciate it.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Easter reflections

As a child growing up, Easter meant a frilly new dress, pair of shoes and lacy socks. I remember my dresses were almost always some shade of yellow. Some years we also wore hats.
I loved dresses and to dress up so I looked forward to the new Easter attire every year. Still like to dress up once in a while but not quite so much.
We were also in church every Easter without fail. Easter egg hunting was after church and lunch. Many times it was at one of my grandmothers’ houses. Other times it was in the front yard at home.
Life just seemed more carefree then. Now it’s exasperating just trying to get everyone for Easter dinner with everyone’s schedules. We are too busy and keep our children involved in too much. And if you saw the 60 Minutes special over the weekend, the social media sites and our addiction to cell phones is destroying our brains. We need to actually talk to one another in person. I miss those days when things were not so complicated and family gatherings were closer to the top of the list of priorities.
But Easter is not about the bunnies or the brightly colored eggs and finding the prize egg. It’s not about the new dress or shoes. It’s about the cross and Christ’s sacrifice for us.
I wear a lot of cross jewelry because it reminds me of that sacrifice and how much he loved me though I deserved nothing. It doesn’t make me anymore of a Christian but it’s just a personal reminder for me.
In reality, it’s not the cross that’s so special anyway, it’s Jesus that is special. The cross just reminds us of His sacrifice. Sitting, contemplating that sacrifice and the horrific pain and death of crucifixion makes me cry. I have to remind myself that it was a necessary death. It was part of God’s plan to redeem mankind from its sin and destiny of hell.
No longer would there have to be blood sacrifices because Jesus was that last sacrifice whose blood covers all our sin. We could never do enough on our own to earn God’s favor. Jesus did it for us. He did it for all of us, whether you believe or not. But it’s up to you to choose to serve and accept Him. Not everyone will but we should strive to tell everyone about Him so they can make that choice. Sin will be punished if we don’t repent.
Christ redeemed us and his death on the cross says everyone of us are redeemable. Even the thief on the cross beside Him that day which the Jews thought unworthy of redemption was redeemed by Christ.
The veil of the temple was torn in two when He died, giving us personal access to Him. We no longer needed any man to intercede for us to God. We can have that personal access anytime. He atoned for our sins giving us the right to enter into the most holy place ourselves.
The cross changed our relationship to one of family with God. It offered us unconditional love and forgiveness when we ask and repent. His love sets us free from the chains which bind us.
His triumph over death on the cross gives us hope. Through accepting Him as our personal savior we have eternal life.
This sacrifice is one we should strive to pattern ourselves after. We, at least I know I will never be the perfect role model as Christ, I keep striving as we all should. Even on the cross He asked His Father in Heaven to forgive them for what they had done because they didn’t know what they were doing. We find it hard to forgive even the smallest transgression. If Christ could forgive his murderers, then we should be able to forgive whatever someone does to us.
Looking at the cross and what it means, none of us should be complaining about anything in our lives. Nothing like most of us experience is anything like Jesus experienced being scourged and then hung on the cross, legs broken, nails through feet and hands.
Jesus gave his mother to one of His disciples while He was on the cross. Showing us we need to take care of those people who depend on us. Even in our suffering, we need to be aware of other people in our lives who still need us and not expect them to suffer along with us.
Christ felt alone and abandoned and asked His Father why he had forsaken Him. We can feel that way at times, but God promises He will never abandon us. We just might not get the answer we want but He always hears us.
Acknowledging He was thirty showed His humanity and His humbleness and reminds us that there are times we need help from others. After all we are to bear each others’ burdens.
When Christ committed His spirit in God’s hands, it was an act of trust. He surrendered control to God and God’s will. Something we need to strive harder to achieve. If you’re struggling, release whatever it is to God and let Him work it all out. You’ll find peace. Think about what we can learn from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Easter blessings.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Lessons from love of gardening

My herb garden is finished and my tomatoes planted. (Praise dance here)I still have a ways to before the rest of the vegetables are in the ground of the new garden spot. I wanted to expand this year and add more vegetables. My hubby was kind enough to oblige me.
I love to garden, though there is not enough time to adequately get the weeds out at times. My granny and Ms. Joyce always said there was something about “playing in the dirt”. They were right. It’s not only gratifying, there is a feeling of accomplishment when you harvest the vegetables that you planted and took care of until harvest time.
It can be rough on your back and mine is feeling it today. That just tells me I need to do more planks and other strengthening exercises.
David assures me that if the garden does good this year, we will make an even bigger one for next year. We shall see!
Not only do I enjoy digging in the dirt, I enjoy harvesting and sharing the bounty from the garden. For the previous two years the garden has been small and was just outside the back door of the deck. This year, I left the herb garden and tomatoes there, making it easy to just step outside and grab whatever herbs are needed. Fresh herbs are much stronger and better than those in the jars at the grocery store.
There have been very few times in my life where I didn’t have a garden of some kind. A couple of times it was only a few pots on the window sill but usually it’s more than that.
A former brother-in-law recently reminded me of the huge gardens we grew in Marshallville. With his 10 siblings it was almost a necessity for his parents to grow food to help with the grocery bill.
I didn’t mind helping with the garden, planting, weeding and harvesting. But at that time in my life, the preparation of hours in the hot kitchen over a stove canning was not my favorite part. Now I don’t mind it as much but usually do it in batches and not all at one time so it’s not so hot.
My love for gardening I think was inherited. My Granny was a farmer with lots of acreage and I enjoyed visiting to help with the garden. The older she got, the smaller the gardens became but it was something she loved as well.
Growing up we always had a garden in the back yard. So having a garden just comes naturally to me. In today’s world of chemicals and GMO’s and worrying about what’s in the food you eat, it just makes me feel safer eating the good that I’ve grown myself because I know what’s been used in the dirt.
Gardening can be therapeutic. You can take your frustrations out while digging. You can also release tension. Whether you do it as a hobby or as a way of life, being outside in the fresh air is beneficial in lots of ways too.
Gardening is for any age and you don’t have to have a green thumb, just the desire to take care of the soil and plants. I don’t consider myself as having a green thumb and have always been pretty successful with my gardens thank the good Lord. Some years, of course, are better than others usually because of some detail I overlooked. Last year I planted my squash plants too close together and my crop was down. I just wasn’t paying enough attention at the time I planted last year. You do have to plan it out and space plants appropriately. Just like we need to plan and space out our daily activities.
Gardens do get weeds and need weeding from time to time. All of us need to get the weeds out of our lives. Weeds like discontent, gossip, bitterness, jealousy, constant complaining, back biting and coveting.
I recently used a gardening lesson at a conference where I spoke. I’d like to share that with you today.
As you know gardens need watering from time to time. We water things in our life as well.
Some people are watering the wrong things. Stop watering things that were never meant to grow in your life. Water what works, what’s good and what’s right. Stop trying to fix stuff and people you can’t fix. If you water what’s alive and divine, you will see a harvest like never before.
Stop wasting your water and time on dead issues, dead relationships and a dead past. No matter how much you water concrete, you will never grow a garden in it.
Renew your relationship with Jesus. Water your relationships with encouragement and stay grounded in the word of God. Esteem others higher than yourself. Be wise in your speech. Be understanding and don’t gossip. Share knowledge. Stay humble, be positive, let go of the past and above all else show love.
You see you can learn a lot from a garden. They need care, weeding and watering. Just like our relationships. Sometimes in spite of best efforts, a plant does not produce. Same with people — sometimes we have to let them go.
Happy gardening. Be blessed.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Remembering my friend, Ms. Joyce

My heart is broken. One of my favorite people is no longer on earth. I know that she is celebrating in heaven and no longer in pain; I rejoice in that fact, but I will miss her. I have had her on my mind for the past week or so and now I know why. I kept telling myself I needed to check on her but life kept getting in the way and now it is too late. I should have learned by now that when God brings someone to mind you should pray for them and check on them right away. I did pray but didn’t check on her. I have been kicking myself about that since I learned of her death. I also know, though, that Ms. Joyce would not want me to, as she believed in moving forward.
Joyce Matthews was like a mother to me at times. We met because she wrote a column — Todays and Yesterdays — for the paper I managed and we became instant friends. This feisty red-head was so wise, funny and caring. You couldn’t help but love her. She never had an unkind word to say about anything or anyone.
Her columns were uplifting as she offered encouragement, shared her wisdom and some of her adventures. As it became more technical with computers and email, it was challenging to her to try and work with today’s gadgets. We would talk about all the changes going on in the industry and she would tell me because I was younger, I could deal with it a lot easier. I told her she could learn it easily. “I just don’t know about all that” she said once.
Over the years we would talk about her adventures, especially with husband Richard. I could sit and listen all day as she talked about where they went, things they saw and what they did.
Joyce called me “her favorite Steel Magnolia” and she wrote that on a note to me once when she gave me three friendship angels. These still sit on a shelf in my bedroom with the note attached. She said I reminded her of the strong women in that movie. I didn’t think I was that strong but if Ms. Joyce said it, then it had to be true.
When my husband died in 2003, Ms. Joyce was there with words of encouragement. She had been there, losing her husband Leroy. She would also lose her husband Richard who was a musician. She helped me keep the right perspective and to keep moving forward and not drown in the sorrow.
During that time she gave me a devotional entitled “Joy for the Journey”. Inside she wrote: “May you always find joy in the journey”.
She was always upbeat and positive. She loved her family and was always telling me about an accomplishment of one of them and you could feel the love.
When David and I got married, she gave us a glass bluebird of happiness which sits in my dining room china cabinet.
She and Richard traveled a lot for him to perform his music, as long as he could. She was sad when he became bedridden and could no longer enjoy his music.
We used to have coffee together once in a while but those times became less and less once I left that paper. She could always find something to talk about with you and always asked what was going on with me and my family.
We did call each other from time to time but it has been a while. She was having lots of health issues but she never complained and even after telling me about those issues she would just laugh it off and say that it was just part of life.
She loved gardening and often shared things with me from her garden until I started growing my own at her encouragement. She told me gardening was therapeutic and there was something about putting your hands in the dirt. That was something my Granny always said so of course, they were right.
She also loved animals and there was always a couple of cats at her house. She would always apologize for the cat hair but I told her it didn’t matter. People would drop strays in the area where she lived from time to time, some Ms. Joyce had to nurse back to health.
Ms. Joyce loved her church, Hardison Baptist and was active there. Faith was something we talked about regularly when we would see each other for more than five minutes.
People always come into your life for reasons and Ms. Joyce came into mine to encourage me and remind me that everyone has a story to tell. She reminded me that good still exists in the world and that you have to keep moving forward no matter what you go through. When she especially liked a column I had written, she always let me know that she enjoyed it.
Ms. Joyce has left some wonderful memories for her children, grandchildren and the rest of her family. We can only hope that we leave our footprints behind when we leave this earth. Ms. Joyce definitely left hers and her loss will be felt by everyone who knew and loved her.
She has left the confines of earth, is no longer in pain, joined loved ones in heaven and gained her angel wings. She will not be forgotten. Love you Ms. Joyce. ©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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She’ll always be my baby

Saturday, my baby girl turns 28 and it’s hard to believe. We’ve been through so much in her life but I am so proud of the young woman she has become through it all. I am sure her father, if he had lived to see her grown, would be proud as well.
In a few weeks she will also celebrate her first wedding anniversary. Last year, we could say was quite a milestone year for her. A new house, wedding, moving out, becoming the store manager where she works, losing a beloved pet and also having to deal with lyme disease.
She has taken all of this in stride and never complains. My hat is off to her managing a retail store as I certainly could not handle it with such panache. Dealing with the public can be overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to something they have purchased. Some people can be downright mean and rude and through it all you have to maintain your composure. I do pretty good usually but if it were an everyday occurrence I am not so sure as it seems the older I get the less patience I have with rudeness.
She has always had a great work ethic as she was taught that at an early age. Being the store manager puts a heavy burden on your shoulders. You have to work when people call out or when someone quits and you can’t find someone to hire, you have to pick up the slack. Dealing with employees who don’t want to work these days is certainly not easy. But Cally handles it all with style.
One thing that we try to do each week is to have lunch on Thursdays. Both of us do the best we can on arranging our schedules so we can talk and catch up on what’s going on. Yes, we usually talk during the week but sitting down together for a meal is just better. We are more relaxed and can usually think of more things than a few minutes on the phone during busy days. It’s a priority for the both of us and I am so thankful for those lunches we can enjoy together now. That could all change as life can keep us busy and sends us in different directions at times.
She chose well in a husband as well, but as much as I prayed about it, I knew God would send the right one and he did. They make a great couple.
It’s a privilege to be her mom and to watch her shine. She is so thoughtful, caring, genuine and talented. She has so much compassion for people and she trusts in God.
It is my prayer that she always walk in truth and that she never lets anyone dull her flame or lets the world harden her heart.
It seems like only yesterday when she was born into the world. I remember it vividly. As long as I live, she will always be my baby girl. They say it is an accomplishment to raise a child knowing they can stand on their own. I did the best I could and I made many mistakes but I am confident she can stand on her own. She is my daughter and always will be, but she is also my friend.
She, like my other children, will always make me smile. Happy birthday Cally. Love you.
***
Many are bemoaning the loss of a local grocery store. We, at the paper included because we frequently went there for one thing or another.
We need to contemplate why it closed. Yes, there was more going on than meets the eye and lots more to the story. However, some of it can boil down to support.
Paul Chapman and I have had this conversation before about shopping local and why people don’t. If you live five miles out of town and a grocery store in another town is only two miles away, you would go the shorter distance and save on gas. That’s human nature but we need to look at the bigger picture and reconsider that course of action.
Statistics show that community-based businesses are essential to local charitable organizations. Those owners, managers and employees live and raise their families here. Therefore, they are more likely to invest in the community. They often serve on local boards or support local causes that help other people like recreation ball.
For every $100 you spend in your community, $68 of it stays in the community. Shopping local is an investment in your community and helps the economy. Shopping local helps create jobs for teachers, firemen, police officers and others. Shopping local means more money available to beautify the community. Sales tax dollars are reinvested where they belong — in your community.
When more people shop local, your community is more unique and interesting and it will help attract visitors and guests. While our mindset is that we can find it cheaper online, in the total picture, is that really true? When you take money out of the community, you are hurting it and not investing in its future and it eventually may dry up. It takes an intentional effort to shop local and it takes changing your mindset. First, you must make shopping local a priority and you have to think about it every time you shop. Let it start with each of you.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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